the portland people



Last night I was stumbling on the web seeking some digital inspiration and stumbled across a neat website called Racked. What intrigued me about this website is the way it promotes thought-provoking editorial content, but it also allows users to search editorial content that is categorized by specific cities such as LA, New York, San Francisco and Miami.


Portland, Oregon has slowly become increasingly relevant to the fashion scene. While developing its own spin and individualized take in defining what it can offer the industry, Portland fashion is slowly evolving and making a home for itself in fashion. I was putzing around on Racked trying to get more familiar with the site and I came across this cool zine that breaks down the fashion scene in the Rose City. The insight captures the spirit of this city and embodies the inspiration that fuels the fashionistas in this corner of the country. Discover the #PortlandPeople and check it out using the link below.


Great work by Travel Portland.

love, courtney




cc: NastyGal, Instagram


Couldn’t be more excited because today I’m covering the work of one of my all-time favorite role models, Sophia Amoruso. As the founder and former CEO of Nasty Gal, New York Times best-selling author of #GIRLBOSS and a contributing editor for Marie Claire magazine, Amoruso is entering a whole new arena of radio broadcasting with the launch of her podcast, #Girlboss radio, as of September 2015. this week’s episode featured the one and only Courtney Love and I have finally had the chance to listen!


cc: Sophia Amoruso, Instagram

Because V+V was inspired by my rock-n-roll roots and the concept of being an ambitious, confident woman with a “go get ‘em” attitude, the collab between Love and Amoruso is one I’ve been anxiously anticipating.

Titled Love Courtney, the collection, which is inspired by her own wardrobe, launches January 14th. Love describes it as “lingerie meets the real world” as the 17 pieces that make up the collection combine “soft” colors, such as pale pinks, peaches and, of course, black, mixed with a variety of different textures. The “modern and slightly nostalgic” feel of the collection is a result of babydoll dresses, floaty kimonos, mini-slips, lingerie, lace bodysuits, of both short and long length, and iconic dresses that are a bit modernized, but ultimately resemble famous dresses from Courtney’s early days. In addition to her first fashion collaboration with Sophia Amoruso and Nasty Gal, Love is also working on a book that is scheduled to hit shelves this Christmas.

While her unwavering work ethic to strive in music, theater and fashion undoubtedly deems love as a natural girlboss, I enjoyed learning more about her early days and and the journey of her career. A daughter of “hippie parents” from Oregon, Love describes a birkenstock-wearing, granola-making, organic-living, middle of nowhere kind of upbringing. From her days as a rebel child to boarding school to a spontaneous trip to Ireland in pursuit of a mentorship with U2, Courtney’s fearlessness, sense of adventure and devotion to her vision have become an integrated part of her identity as a legend and idol.

In 1989, she published an advertisement in the recycler in search of women musicians with the hope of forming an all-girl band. The ad also outlined four primary influences for the band. Those influences included Big Black, Sonic Youth, Fleetwood Mac and The Pixies. This embodies her willingness to make her dreams happen as she was able to put together a group and call it a band. Consequently, her years of pitching herself as a singer who was going to make it big had paid off as she began to pursue her music career with a new level of intention and productivity.

Since her rise to fame in the 90s, Love has continued to reinvent herself in the music industry. She’s played on a variety of bands, worked in different genres with reputable professionals, and recently toured with Lana del Ray, who has a team of 6 people on the road with her doing fashion. According to Love, Lana buys, wears and recreates vintage in a way that is paralleled to Love’s own prior habits.

Love also noted the likeminded thinking that the two artists share as it pertains to understanding and envisioning what they can offer to the marketplace. I found this to be extremely relevant as lately I’ve been learning the importance of analyzing and recognizing what an industry lacks in an effort to create something it doesn’t already have. This advice, no matter how you apply it, is invaluable.

Love pushes this idea further when asked what piece of advice she has to offer for listeners. She shared, “Envision where you belong and go there. [Have] a sense of manifest destiny and understand what your aesthetic visually looks like.” She also touches on the importance of taking risks and putting yourself out there while she reminisces on the ways she pitched herself to every possible contact in the industry at the start of her career. “I wrote letter to every major label head,” she says.

In this podcast, Love reflects on her life and career and in doing so weighs in to the themes of being a girlboss. While some of the topics of conversation throughout the podcast may be more relatable than others, whether you’re a vintage-fashion enthusiast, a rock-n-roll ride or die or someone who’s intentional about a dream, this podcast is worth listening too. Check it out on itunes, the podcast app or on!

a legacy of leadership


While on a flight back to Portland, OR after a week in my hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio, I stumbled across a rather interesting article in Delta’s Delta Sky Magazine. Featured on the cover were the brothers and co-presidents behind the Nordstrom brand, in addition to a bold white headline that read: “A Legacy of Leadership”.


As one of the leading department stores in the industry, there’s something extraordinary about the heartbeat that pulses a new level of excellence in to the brand. Nordstrom’s success is rooted in profound customer service, whether it be shoe shopping for toddlers, appealing to the market of teenage girls or creating a seamless shopping experience for men.

While I was home last week, my neighbor went to Nordstrom to purchase a dress for a funeral. Due to the variety of different options the store provides its customers, many women think to go to Nordstrom when in need of a perfect outfit for a wedding, for their child’s high-school graduation ceremony, for a holiday party at work, etc. The quality of Nordstrom’s product proves itself to be relevant no matter what the occasion. But the merchandise itself is not what compelled my neighbor to shop at Nordstrom while in search of a black dress.

“I knew before I stepped in the store that when I went to Nordstrom, I could count on a good experience. I knew I was going to be in the hands of someone who cared, someone who could be engaged and empathetic to the occasion in which I was shopping. I knew I wouldn’t be rushed, I wasn’t going to be inconveniencing anyone and I could take as long as I wanted to find the perfect dress for the funeral. that’s why I shopped at Nordstrom.”

This is powerful. This is one of the many Nordstrom stories that reiterates the importance of customer service. Furthermore, it reflects that Nordstrom is not just a brand with a variety of trendy merchandise, but a brand that can be, and is, associated with monumental moments in the lives of its customers.

The ability of a brand to acquire such influence in the industry is no small coincidence. Instead, it is a reflection of hard work that is consistent among Nordstrom employees. While discussing Nordstrom’s expansion in Canada, Eric Nordstrom said, “It’s about being real, being genuine. We try to hire nice people, and we tell them to be themselves” (p. 166, Delta Sky). This matters.

I took note of the culture among Nordstrom employees shortly after I was hired in the Savvy/Topshop department this past summer. While there’s a very distinct expectation on the sales floor, it is remarkably empowering. It doesn’t just sustain a business with an exceptional reputation, but it creates a culture among the brand on a larger scale that makes hiring from within possible.

“We’re an empowered culture for leaders to do their own thing,” (p. 79, Delta Sky) says Pete Nordstrom.

In my experience working for Nordstrom, I found that the practice of hiring driven, hard-working individuals gives employees motive to excel to new levels and establishes consistency in demonstrating the values of the brand. The cycle is brilliant.

Nordstrom’s employees and emphasis on customer service is not the only component driving its success. The services the brand offers to its customers are constantly evolving with the intent to further enhance the experience of the customer. It’s a brand that values staying relevant by remaining attentive to the gaps of their business. The brilliant minds behind the Nordstrom brand continuously ask the question, “What can we do better?”

The outcome of Nordstrom’s intentional thinking have given the brand an upper hand when it comes to appealing to customers. From Hautelook to the recent addition of Trunk Club, an online styling service designed for men and even partnerships with Topshop, Madewell and the recent integration of Brandy Melville merchandise in particular stores.

Olivia Kim, vice president of creative projects, became the mastermind behind ‘Space’, a line of in-store boutiques featuring up and coming designers that launched at four west coast stores this fall. Kim’s work also includes the Pop-In @ Nordstrom shops that appear exclusively at seven Nordstrom locations. These projects further define Nordstrom’s unique identity to shoppers across the country. It’s ideas like these that push brand’s like Nordstrom ahead of its competitors.

In all that it does, Nordstrom thrives on a cycle of out-of-the-box innovation, creative excellence, outstanding follow-through and remarkable execution that functions under a primary goal: to best serve the customer. A legacy of leadership, indeed.