Closed × B.
at Bergdorf Goodman
An exclusive chino collection for B., a new store in New York at Bergdorf Goodman
A collaboration with Bruce Pask on an exclusive collection for men’s chinos for B., a new store at Bergdorf Goodman.
The partnership is one of a series that Bruce Pask and Closed have created for B. The collaboration consists of two new chino styles in different colours.
"I woke up one morning and just felt like wearing wider, full cut pants, it felt refreshing to me. And I realized that there were very few options out there"
We talk menswear trends, design and our chino collaboration with Bruce Pask.
How did you get started in fashion?
I went to school in Virginia and studied art history and economics. During college, I worked in retail at Gap and ESPRIT, so I knew how to ring a register and I really enjoyed it. I moved to New York during the first recession in 1989 and got a job working as a stock boy at Paul Smith. It was my first exposure to fashion and celebrities. GQ came in regularly, and they told my boss that they were looking for an assistant and she, very generously, told me I should interview.
How do you approach the fashion direction of the store and brand?
In general, you have to be very objective. Our customers are very varied; their desires are widespread. It’s more about the questions: where are we going in menswear right now? What’s important? What is our customer interested in? It’s just about being hyper-curious and hyper-interested. I travel a ton and my eyes are always open. I’m interested in everything: I want to go to that restaurant, hotel or exhibition.
Do you think menswear has become less intimidating?
I love how democratic fashion has become. I think, in the past, when you were interested or even curious about fashion, it was sort of an emasculating thing to care too much about how you looked or how you dressed.
How are you seeing men experimenting with fashion more?
The formal world is a huge area of opportunity. It’s something we’ve seen evolve on the red carpet and at celebrity events. Social media has gained an important role in communicating the message of what’s being worn on the carpet and how easy it is for men to access all this information, and companies respond to this interest with expanded offerings in the category. This fall, in particular, we’ve got so many different velvet jackets for evening in a variety of jewel tones, vivid colours and tonal jacquards. There’s much more permission for men to care about fashion and to care about how they look, and I think it’s a great thing. I’d rather support somebody who wants to try something new, rather than staying on their same track because they’re too afraid to try. Being permissive in our sphere is really important. It’s nice to have guidelines, but I think rules are just frustrating.
Speaking of trends, what are your hot takes for spring/summer 2019?
Athletic-inspired street and casual wear has been a very dominant force, and it’s been interesting to see how it has very specific iterations every season. We’re seeing a lot more nylon, a lot more mesh. It stems from how the workplace has changed a lot; how it’s much more flexible now. We have a lot of travel-driven performance fabrics: things that are wrinkle-resistant or have stretch, so it allows for more of a range of motion if you’re riding a bike to work.
You’re collaborating with Closed on a capsule collection. How did that come into being?
We’re doing two pants in two colorations each. I have been buying their trousers for a while through a collaboration they did with United Arrows – these wider-cut pants. I just woke up one morning and I was like, I don’t want to wear skinny pants anymore. I’m not interested. And I was looking around for what was out there, and there’s not a lot.
What was your directive for the pants?
The pleated khaki is kind of wide. It’s this great, heavier twill, and I had them extend the pocket bags just a little bit. Then there’s an easier model that’s relaxed in the crotch, but a little cropped in length.
And this collection is part of B., a new shop you’re launching at Bergdorf Goodman in February. What inspired it?
It’s basically to address a guy that appreciates great design – quiet design, but still singular. As merchandise in general becomes more global and accessible, people really appreciate something that’s specific to a place.
What interests you at the moment?
I love travel and it’s always a source of inspiration and ideas. Tokyo, for me, is an obsession. Retail there is always inventive and inspiring and customer service is impeccable.
What are your ambitions for the future?
I want Bergdorf Goodman to continue to be successful and I’d love for my personally curated shop to really resonate for our customer. The great thing about retail is that it’s ever organic; it’s always changing. We’re always onto the next thing, and making sure that we’re continuing to excite and surprise our customers is an everyday challenge that we all share.