An answer to all our mass retailer prayers, Nordstrom opened Space, a new concept shop-within-a-shop that showcases smaller, emerging designers while giving clients a more personal experience. As a fashion addict, is there anything more frustrating than reading about a cool, new Japanese designer only to be met with the blank stares of salespeople when searching for pieces at your favorite mega-retailer? Or chatting away about a small line you love with the women at a local boutique only to learn that they don't carry it... yet? Space might just be what you've been looking for.
Spearheaded by Nordstrom's Director of Creative Projects, Olivia Kim, Space locations will open inside three of Nordstrom's traditional brick and mortars (Chicago Michigan Ave, Downtown Seattle, and San Francisco Center) while simultaneously launching online Aug. 20. While it might seem like an odd pairing of David and Goliath, this is a win for fashion fanatics everywhere who scramble to find pieces by beloved, sometimes international, small designers in their hometowns or smaller market cities. Imagine: You find that perfect Roksanda silk dress and confidently plop it in your virtual cart, because you know that Nordstrom is a trusted, established place to shop online.
It's a big benefit for small labels too, who often find it difficult to break into new markets or be picked up by retailers. This is a chance to be exposed to a whole new audience who might otherwise never see their designs.
Space is the brainchild of Kim, the aforementioned Director of Creative Projects at Nordstrom and overall genius. According to the New York Times, Kim understands how our Internet generation shops and is aiming to create more of a lifestyle experience with her carefully curated IRL locations. "If it goes together it shows together," she said — meaning, basically, that you'll no longer be riding escalators up and down to find the perfect Shrimps scarf to wear with a Caitlin Price blouse or the right Kara bag for those ACNE jeans; pieces will be mixed in together among Space's hot pink mannequins, regardless of their traditional department. It's the boutique experience we love, inside one of America's largest stores.
Of course, "experiences" are often more aspirational than just browsing a department, so it's no surprise that Space will carry labels that range from more contemporary (British label ARIES) to luxe price points (jewelry designer Anna Sheffield.) It's more runway than fast-fashion which, at the very least, will make for some pretty stunning Instagram photos from the dressing room.