Nordstrom Launches ‘The Lab’ at 2 Canadian Flagships

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Seattle-based Nordstrom has launched ‘The Lab’ at two of its Canadian flagship stores. The new incubator project is being launched in only five Nordstrom stores globally, and one of the designers featured has a Canadian connection. 

Conceived and curated by Nordstrom’s Vice President of Creative Projects, Olivia Kim, ‘The Lab’ showcases and supports five designers selected for the inaugural season: Eckhaus Latta, Vejas, Eric Schlösberg, A.W.A.K.E. and Dilara Findikoglu. Ms. Kim and her buying team selected a handful of looks from the five designers, including exclusive and custom-made items reflective of each designer’s aesthetic.

Self-taught Canadian designer Vejas Kruszewski won the prestigious LVMH Prize for young fashion designers last year, valued at approximately $218,000 Canadian. 

‘The Lab’ is being launched within Nordstrom’s ‘SPACE’ departments, which Ms. Kim launched in the Fall of 2015. Nordstrom’s flagships at CF Pacific Centre in Vancouver, and at CF Toronto Eaton Centre in Toronto, launched ‘The Lab’ collections in stores this week. Other Nordstrom stores to feature ‘The Lab’ include the downtown Seattle flagship, The Grove in Los Angeles, and at the Chicago Michigan Avenue flagship — as well as online at

SPACE features a cross-category collection of apparel, accessories, home goods and fragrance from emerging and advanced designers. Ms. Kim wanted to develop a place dedicated to recognizing fledgling talent, saying, “a brand has to be relatively established in order to support a substantial wholesale business. We wanted to find a way to show the truly new brands just starting out, and to recognize the great, raw talent out there, to say we see you, and we want to support you.”

She went on to say, “there are incredible demands on a young designer trying to grow their business, and we wanted to say ‘you may not be able to produce enough of a collection for eight stores right now and that’s okay.’ The Lab is for the designers who have just launched their collections, did their first show, maybe used their friends as models and showed in a basketball court in the Lower East Side. It’s true, authentic and they’re creating beautiful collections that we want to share with our customers.”

The Lab will be an ongoing program in SPACE at Nordstrom, refreshed with new brands each season in order to give each designer a spotlight to help grow their businesses.

Article Author

Craig Patterson
Craig Patterson
Located in Toronto, Craig is the Publisher & CEO of Retail Insider Media Ltd. He is also a retail analyst and consultant, Advisor at the University of Alberta School Centre for Cities and Communities in Edmonton, former lawyer and a public speaker. He has studied the Canadian retail landscape for over 25 years and he holds Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws Degrees.

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