Synergy

With Bonobos Financing and Partnership, Nordstrom Buys a Bit of Hip

“We understand there are people who still want to touch and feel clothing before they purchase." -Andy Dunn, Bonobos founder

pink pants With Bonobos Financing and Partnership, Nordstrom Buys a Bit of HipOnline pants-maker Bonobos and brick-and-mortar department store Nordstrom have fused their businesses together, the companies announced yesterday, as Nordstrom led a $16.4 million round in the New York startup and will begin selling Bonobos clothing in its stores online and offline.

Dealbook’s Evelyn Rusli has the best piece on the investment, in which she notes that Nordstrom acquired flash fashion sales site HauteLook last year and has budgeted $140 million for ecommerce this year, a 40 percent increase over last year. And while Bonobos was spending more and more on marketing, Nordstrom-in-chief Jamie Nordstrom envied the conversational tone Bonobos took with its customers, a quirk he discovered while “scouring the Web for innovative ideas.”

Mr. Nordstrom was particularly impressed with Bonobos’s e-mails to consumers, which included customized elements and links to quirky You Tube videos that weren’t related to fashion but appealed to Bonobos’s male clientele.

Meanwhile, Bonobos CEO and founder Andy Dunn admitted that, “We understand there are people who still want to touch and feel clothing before they purchase.” We can all learn things from each other. Wonder if Nordstrom will start telling customers that its pants will make their “butt look great.”

Follow Adrianne Jeffries on Twitter or via RSS. ajeffries@observer.com