Daniel Robbins and Teresa Konopka arrived at Nordstrom in downtown Seattle on Wednesday looking like … well, like they could use a day at Nordstrom. They left several hours later, made over from head to toe as the recipients of GeekWire’s first-ever Geek Style Reboot, ready to party at the annual GeekWire Gala.
Robbins, a 48-year-old principal UX designer in the Creative Labs group at HTC-Vive, and Konopka, a 26-year-old airplane safety engineer at The Boeing Co., were chosen from a pool of applicants for a day of pampering and style guidance.
Nordstrom rolled out the red carpet with services from their spa, personal styling and beauty departments, as well as lunch at Nordstrom Grill. GeekWire spent a good part of the afternoon watching Robbins and Konopka transform, and then helped get them to another red carpet, at the Museum of History and Industry for the tech community’s holiday festivities.
Here’s how it all went down:
Robbins opted for a massage in the morning (during which he fell asleep) and Konopka went with a manicure and pedicure before the two of them had lunch.
From there, they met with personal stylists to try on some looks and see how everything fit. Both had previously told GeekWire and Nordstrom about their personal style and their take on Seattle style.
Robbins was paired with David, who pulled a blue velvet blazer by Topman, black pants, a white shirt, skinny black tie and patent leather shoes. Even hanging in the dressing room, it looked like a win compared to Robbins’ casual work uniform of T-shirt, jeans and scuffed loafers.
But after trying everything on and messing with the shirt and tie and getting a better understanding of the Gala vibe, David swapped in a nice black T-shirt from Robert Barakett and slim black jeans from Rag & Bone to pair with the same jacket. Robbins was comfortable and happy with the ease of the wardrobe transformation.
And a tailor from the store’s men’s department came in to take quick measurements for an adjustment on the length of the jeans.
Konopka’s stylist, Molly, pulled several dresses, including a beaded grey gown from Adrianna Papell and a floral dress by Ted Baker, which Konopka tried on first.
But it was clear that the gown made Konopka feel like she was truly dressing up for a night on the town. An alteration specialist was called in to work magic without a lot of time to spare and hem the garment while Konopka and Robbins headed to makeup and hair appointments.
After changing back into their everyday geek clothes, Robbins and Konopka headed to the very busy Nordstrom beauty department. Konopka was paired with Lauren, a beauty stylist charged with figuring out her makeup for the night.
Konopka said she doesn’t really wear makeup, but likes natural products. “I’m kinda pale,” she said. “I think the raccoon eye would be too much.”
Robbins chatted with Richard as part of a complexion consultation. An avid biker, Robbins was directed toward cleansers and moisturizers that would provide sunscreen as well as hydration for his skin and scalp.
When asked how he felt after having creams rubbed into his face, Robbins said, “Refreshed!”
To kill some time before getting their hair done, Robbins and Konopka ate ice cream from a Molly Moon’s pop-in shop and browsed items at a MoMA pop-in inside the store.
Across the street and up the block from Nordstrom, Robbins and Konopka went under the care of hair stylists at Gene Juarez salon.
Tia gave Robbins a nice fade with the clippers as he drank a glass of wine and told her repeatedly to do what she wanted and that she was the expert.
Konopka got a wash and blowout from Chloe.
Back in the personal styling department at Nordstrom, with their faces feeling fresh and their hair trim and styled, it was time to get dressed for the party.
“That’s sort of the fantasy experience,” Robbins said of the day. “I felt very well taken care of.”
“I wish I could do this everyday,” Konopka said.
Dressed to impress, our geeks hopped in an Uber Black and made the short drive from Nordstrom over to MOHAI for the big party.
Robbins met up with his wife Stephanie, who loved the new look, checking him out from head to toe as he showed off the velvet jacket and the shiny shoes.
Like celebrities of the moment, Robbins and Konopka headed over for an interview with GeekWire’s “Live from the Red Carpet” video feed.
And a short time later they were up on stage in front of 1,000 members of the tech community, showing off their Geek Style Reboot.