Nordstrom launches innovation lab for young designers
Nordstrom has launched “The Lab” – an incubator program supporting new design talent. Each season, the project will pick five emerging designers to show in the dedicated “Lab” space of several Nordstrom locations, as well as on Nordstrom’s SPACE e-commerce site.
"The Lab" was created for two main reasons: to breed burgeoning talent for Nordstrom’s stores, and to give back to the fashion industry through supporting young talent.
The first designers to work with Nordstrom in ”The Lab” are Eckhaus Latta, Dilara Findikoglu, A.W.A.K.E, Vejas, and Eric Schlösberg. Toronto-bred Vejas took home the 2016 LVMH Prize at just 19 years old. Dilara Findikoglu, whose clothing was recently picked up by Selfridges, is a Turkish-by-way-of-London designer known for punk-rock inspired garments. Eckhaus Latta’s gender-fluid ready-to-wear collections have been making waves with its bi-annual NYFW runway shows.
The idea was brought to fruition by Olivia Kim, Nordstrom’s Vice President of Creative Projects, who left Opening Ceremony after ten years to take on the Nordstrom position created just for her. Kim has been the mind behind some of Nordstrom’s most innovative projects, like the Pop In@Nordstrom series of curated pop-up shops.
The Lab will have a dedicated section of SPACE, Nordstrom’s store-in-store launched in 2015 that centers around the work of buzzier, more conceptual designers, like Simone Rocha, Ellery, Isa Arfen, Acne, Brother Vellies, Comme des Garcons, and Jacquemus. Each of the five designers from The Lab project will sell five looks, chosen by Kim and her Nordstrom buying team, in SPACE locations in five Nordstrom stores, namely its Seattle, Los Angeles, Toronto, Vancouver, and Chicago flagships.
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