Seattle based Nordstrom has been in business for nearly 120 years, but they continue to innovate. This month they're launching a brand new project called BP. Be Proud (available online) and it's a first of it's kind for the retailer. Refined chatted [virtually] with Shawn Serven, Lead Designer for the BP. Be Proud Collection to find out more.
Seattle Refined: Sean, you’re a designer at Nordstrom and you guys have just designed your very first genderless clothing collection in celebration of Pride Month. Can you tell us about that?
Shawn Serven: This collection means the world to me. As a young creative and a member of the LGBTQ+ community, it’s everything. We created this collection for every gender identity, and it celebrates love and the right to self identify. 10% of the proceeds of the collection go back to True Colors United that supports homeless LGBTQ+ youth.
For some of our viewers out there who might not be sure what Pride means - maybe you can just tell us?
June is designated as Pride Month, and it’s a time we can come together and celebrate who we are and feel free to be ourselves on our own way - whoever we are and whoever we want to be.
Can you describe it [the collection] for us?
This collection [BP. Be Proud] is extremely colorful and stands for so much. When I was in the design and development process I really tried to break it down and study LGBTQ+ history and I studied all of the different Pride flags. In particular the ones that I looked at the most were the rainbow pride flag, the trans flag and the inclusive flag. We created a line of tie dye tee shirts that utilize those colors. I love the way that they give a subtle nod to those flags and truly respect the colors that they stand for.
The video that kind of goes along with this collection is pretty amazing. Who are these happy people and what are they doing?
All the kids in the video are dancers from across the country that were chosen and they learned a dance that was created by a queer choreographer. They all respectively filmed it at home and we were able to edit it together. They all look so cool wearing those clothes and it means so much to me that they were able to show it in their own way.
We’ve been talking about this as a genderless clothing collection. Another way to say it - it’s a very inclusive collection and I understand you guys had to come up with a way to size things?
To represent every gender identity we wanted to create our own size scale which goes from XXS to 4XL. We fit a lot of different body types and we work on the styling and wanted to choose styles that worked on a lot of different body identities.
What are a few of your favorites?
There’s one graphic tee shirt with a butterfly on it and as a member of the LGBTQ community I’ve always felt like butterfly’s an unofficial symbol. I feel like a lot of us kind of blossom from our cocoon and grow into our own most authentic self. We also have a great tee shirt that says United in Pride, and I think for someone who wants something that truly embodies the spirit of Pride - I think that’s a great piece. And then one of my other favorite pieces is a graphic tee shirt that says MX and if you you identify by the pronouns they/them rather than he/him or she/her you don’t identify by Mr. or Mrs. or Miss you identify by MX and I think that’s a really cool thing we can offer.