John Legend’s voice is often a topic of conversation, but let’s talk about his skin. I’m not sure if one can adequately describe it in words, you really just have to see it up-close for yourself — like I did in early December while at Nordstrom NYC Flagship’s holiday celebration. You’d think with a poreless glow like that he’d be a spokesperson for a skincare line. However, the multi-hyphenate is proving that he has yet another gift to share with the world (outside of a tone that sounds like butter and blemish-free appearance): a killer sense of style. It makes sense as he’s one of the latest faces of Sperry, designing an exciting collection that’s different from what we’re used to from the brand.
“Nordstrom is such a classic department store,” Legend tells ESSENCE. “They’ve had such a great selection for such a long time, and we’re so excited that we’re able to partner with them to put our Sperry line out there into the world.”
Legend says the collection, which is marked by boots and boat shoes, actually help to get him in the holiday spirit. “We live in LA and so we don’t get any seasons there,” he says. “But we intentionally come to New York as much as we can during the holidays because we like to like walk around in a coat and boots. It’s fun being here during the holiday season.” In fact, he says the boots in particular are the embodiment of winter in The Big Apple. “Before, Sperry had never done a high boot like this,” he shares. “But we wanted to do something that had that urban feel, where you could walk around New York or London or wherever with it. We wanted to honor the tradition of Sperry being more nautical and more leisurely, but also bring some an elevated feel to it.”
The beloved city has become a staple of his family’s holiday traditions. “We went to the Radio City Rockettes today,” Legend says. “We went to FAO Schwartz, walked around Rockefeller center. We just wanted to soak up all the holiday things.”
But what’s on the agenda for the Legend family come December 25? Like many of us, just food and fellowship. “We have to cook,” he says. “I feel like my kids are so lucky because they get my traditions, which are Southern and soul food cooking. And then, they get Chrissy’s traditions, which are Thai and American food. So many amazing flavors. We just had a wonderful Thanksgiving and we’re looking forward to Christmas with both of our families.”
Don’t get it twisted though, gifting is a must as well. Especially for his adorable daughter and son, Luna and Myles. The one-stop shop that is Nordstrom will certainly be helping with that. “Myles always wants an airplane,” Legend shares. “He says that, but then he never plays with it, so we’ll see. However, he’s really more into dinosaurs and cars — because he likes to see them roll.” Luna, however, is asking Santa for something else. “Luna, she’s really into dolls right now,” Legend continues. “She likes to nurture and mother them.”
And how could we talk about Christmas without mentioning Legend’s music. He performed to a packed crowd following our interview, belting out his hits such as “Save Room” and “Ordinary People,” the perfect finale to an evening fun. Before his jaw-dropping performance, he reflected on his previous Christmas album. “It was such a pleasure and joy to make,” Legend shares. “I made that with Rafael Saadiq and I always wanted it to be a blend of the Motown style and that king coast style and kind of bringing that together. Music is a part of our family traditions, too.”
So is there another John Legend Christmas album on the horizon? We’re not so sure, but we’re certainly crossing our fingers. While you wait, however, can enjoy shopping Legend’s must-have Sperry collection available now in-stores at Nordstrom nationwide and online at nordstrom.com.