VIDEO: Portlandia, Meet Ballardia, Blackbird to Open New Shop in the Rose City

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Blackbird and Field House owner Nicole Miller announced she’s expanding her retail empire to Portland. The new shop (Burnside and NW 13th Ave.), which opens early this summer, is two blocks from Ace Hotel (another Seattle-based lifestyle business with a PDX outpost), and sure to attract throngs of Portland-loving tourists who will no doubt be spending time in the Rose City, thanks to this new show. The space will be small (600 square feet) and designed to look similar to the current Blackbird location in both “architecture and neighborhood appeal,” Miller wrote in an email to her clients sent this morning. She adds:

“The big question everyone is asking is what brands will you sell in the new store. All I can say is, "not Portland brands". To me Portland doesn't need another Pendleton outlet, so you can expect a lot of our own Blackbird label and our more seriously design driven brands like Robert Geller and Rick Owens.”

Miller also joked: “If you are not familiar with Portland Oregon or want more info on why we are opening a store there watch Portlandia clips on”. As someone who has lived and worked in Portland and enjoys the occassional cup of Stumptown Coffee, I for one am looking forward to seeing Seattle export a little culture and decidely non-DIY fashion to our Pac Northwest comrades to the south.


The Best Local Socks to Buy Now

The Best Local Socks to Buy Now

This city has a thing for socks. From top toe protection to no-slip all-stars, we’ve found the best bets for restocking your sock drawer

(From left to right)

1.  Sock It to Me
This Portland-based company has the corner on the whimsical-sock market. Go for the women’s Shakespeare-themed “Taming of the Shoe” or the men’s Multi Player gaming sock for a silly but sophisticated fashion statement. $11.50–$12,

2.  Darn Tough
The name says it all. Based in Vermont and manufactured exclusively in the U.S., these mid-calf, micro crew hike/trek socks are sure to keep your tootsies dry and happy on a hike. The fun colors will make you even happier to take off your boots at the end of the day. $20, available at

3.  Peony and Moss
Founded by Seattle local Eva Spitzer, Peony and Moss brings the pretty with these high-quality cotton socks. We like the Scandinavian pattern knee high, but the thigh high works well with the high-booted crowd. $30–$32,

4.  Mod Socks
Bellingham’s Mod Socks pays serious homage to its Northwest roots with its “Bigfoot Loves Washington,” a women’s knee sock, and the “Bear Necessities” crew sock for men. $10,

5.  Strideline
This Seattle-based company took the city by storm with its skyline lacrosse sock. Now it has come up with a new digital ink technology that brings photo-realism and hometown pride to your feet. Get the new skyline, Husky Stadium or the Sounders sock just in time for soccer season. $16–$18,

6.  Balega
The unique left/right construction and deeper heel pocket of these crew socks make them a favorite in local specialty running shops, such as Super Jock ’n Jill. Balega’s ultralight quarter sock, $13, has been called the sheerest, lightest sock on the market and has garnered lots of hard-core running fans. Available at Fleet Feet Sports Seattle, Capitol Hill, 911 E Pine St.; 206.329.1466;