DO YOU REMEMBER Nau? Do you remember when it first emerged in Portland? It's easy to forget, but back in 2007, Nau's central premise was making clothing that was made to perform in an outdoor setting—during a bicycle commute, or on a hike after work—as well as pass muster in a sophisticated urban setting.
It's a combination of lifestyle requirements that's quintessential to Portland, and has come to pervade much of the design strategy for outdoor wear of the past decade. Nau combined that trendsetting approach with an out-front commitment to sustainable practices, including a Portland flagship store where customers tried on samples and ordered purchases from a kiosk, in an effort to reduce excess shipping and inventory footprints.
Perhaps it was too far ahead of its time, or perhaps the timing—just ahead of the recession—was ill. That first Nau store didn't last long, and the company has changed hands several times since—always alive if somewhat at bay. Now that Nau's been acquired by Korean outdoor brand Black Yak, its retail presence is back, armed with continued innovation: Currently, it's pioneering the use of recycled down fill, something they hope other companies will get in on.
There's a lot of shopping to do this week. Stop by Nau to high-five one of our originals' return to brick and mortar. Nau, 304 NW 11th, grand opening Thurs Dec 3, 5-8 pm, nau.com
THIS WEEK'S STYLE EVENTS
• Serious note: I've never understood where people get off making jokes about socks and underwear as gifts because they are actually wonderful. One of the city's best sources for hosiery, Imelda's & Louie's knows this truth well, and is running a Holiday Sock Sale, with 15 percent off purchases of three or more, now through Christmas Eve. Imelda's & Louie's, 3426 SE Hawthorne, through Dec 24
• All Animal Traffic locations (including the Annex shoe store and the web shop) are extending hours and discounts through the weekend. Black Friday early birds get 20 percent savings from midnight to noon, then it drops to 15 percent until Monday, when latecomers can still enjoy 10 percent off their entire purchase all day long. Animal Traffic, 4000 N Mississippi, 429 SW 10th, Thurs Nov 27-Mon Nov 30
• One of the hugest coordinated efforts among small local businesses is the annual Little Boxes shopping event, first launched by the folks behind Northwest Portland shop and jewelry operation Betsy + Iya. Now in its fifth edition, it features an app (even for Androids) to coordinate more than 200 participating local shops. Offering user incentives like a free-to-enter raffle (prizes include hotel stays and shopping sprees) and lots of deals and activations at specific locations, it's an easy, fun way to explore little guys in neighborhoods across the city. All over Portland, Fri Nov 27 & Sat Nov 28, littleboxespdx.com
• Palace is not messin' around when it comes to Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, offering a hefty 25 percent off both days. Additionally, Alexandria Cummings will be in the house with a special selection of her ceramics, purchases enter you into a raffle for gift bags and certificates, and there'll be bubbly and sweets on hand to help grease those shopping wheels. Palace, 2205 E Burnside, Fri Nov 27 & Sat Nov 28
• Mabel & Zora hosts the holiday collection from Trina Turk through the weekend, with gifts-with-purchase, a raffle to win a handbag from the brand, plus hot apple cider (with or without whiskey). Mabel & Zora, 748 NW 11th, Fri Nov 27-Sun Nov 29
• Black Friday weekend in Portland has little in common with the YouTube videos that seem to surface every year in which shoppers inflict physical harm on each other over toasters and video games. Events like Black Magic are far more our speed. It gathers a slew of the city's coolest small businesses (like REIFhaus, Brookes Boswell) for two days of savvy shopping that supports our local talent. The Cleaners, 403 SW 10th, Sat Nov 28 & Sun Nov 29, 11 am-6 pm
• Una doesn't play Black Friday, thanks—in fact they're closed altogether. But they will be offering 30 percent off their selection of clothing once the worst of it has passed. Una, 922 SE Ankeny, Sat Nov 28 & Sun Nov 29
• This weekend's edition of the Sunday Emporium—in which complementing vendors set up shop amid the lovely housewares of Rejuvenation (never underestimate the gift-giving power of brackets and drawer pulls)—is, shockingly, holiday themed, and even features a wreath-making workshop with Anna Mara Flowers. Rejuvenation, 1100 SE Grand, Sun Nov 29, 11 am-4 pm
• For most of the year, the WildCraft Studio School is an idyllic place to pick up new skills against the lush backdrop of the Columbia River Gorge. However, this week it's taking up residency in the city for a week of pre-holiday intensives that include a drawing class (taught by WildCraft founder Chelsea Heffner, who will also be selling prints of her own work) and a workshop on printing linens by Anna Joyce. Fieldwork Design, 601 SE Hawthorne, Mon Nov 30-Sat Dec 5, wildcraftstudioschool.com for full schedule and pricing