Bruce Pask, Chore Coat Aficionado and Director of Men’s Fashion at Neiman Marcus

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The Bruce Pask name is synonymous with menswear, and I don’t think there’s a person in the industry who can’t sketch his smirk from memory on a bar napkin. Bruce has worked in fashion for over 30 years, although he doesn’t have the pomp or pretension one would expect from someone with a career as storied as his. I’ve taken many street photos of Pask over the years and although I never really knew him, he always greeted me with kindness during my own tenure in menswear. Today, he is the director of menswear for Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman, lending his immense expertise to two iconic companies. When he’s not in Manhattan or abroad dictating trends and client desires, he spends his free time at a beautifully updated and beloved cottage in charming Bellport, NY, where we photographed this piece together.

Below, Bruce and I discuss the various positions he has held in the fashion industry, working closely with Annie Leibovitz, how he handles the dense stories of Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman and updates them for his to fit the modern man, his B. Shop and his wares. , traveling to Copenhagen for Fashion Week, and much more.

Christopher Fenimore

bruce pask

Christopher Fenimore

bruce pask

Christopher Fenimore

Can you describe your career to me, from your foundations to what you are currently doing?

I held a variety of retail jobs growing up and while in school, and started my career in journalism and fashion magazine writing shortly after college as a fashion assistant at QG magazine where I worked for ten years, eventually becoming associate fashion director. I left to dedicate myself to freelance styling and costume design, wanting to see and work with fashion in a different way, with another point of view. I was introduced to photographer Annie Leibovitz and worked with her on most of her editorials and covers for vanity lounge and commercial projects such as styling and costume campaigns for The Sopranos and American Express for about three years. I then joined Conde Nast as fashion director for the launch of Cargo, a shopping magazine for men. We had a great but brief run after which I joined Magazine T and The New York Times working under Stefano Tonchi as director of menswear.

I specialized in menswear for most of my career and found the opportunity to leverage that expertise and move from journalism to retail when I was hired as a manager. menswear for Bergdorf Goodman and then Neiman Marcus, where I’ve now worked for about eight years. I love the retail world and being able to use my expertise in a very different environment, bringing an editorial perspective to my work at a multi-brand luxury retailer, viewing stores and online as places for content and healing.

bruce pask

Christopher Fenimore

bruce pask

Christopher Fenimore

bruce pask

Christopher Fenimore

Bergdorf Goodman was founded in 1899 and Neiman Marcus in 1907. I’m curious what the role of fashion director entails for you, and if you consider the history of the stores when updating them with clothing designed for the modern era?

I am driven by curiosity and am always on the lookout for new brands in development that I believe will resonate and excite our customers. A big priority for me is brand curation and assortments in stores, as well as working with all merchant teams on their respective buys, helping guide them based on the development of key items and trends, changing behaviors and interests reflected in our customer desires, and further clarifying our brand perspective and fashion leadership across the company. Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman are distinct brands with identities and stories that inform store presentation, brands and customers, and we are seeing more and more customer intersection and alignment across the Neiman Marcus Group. in general. With Bergdorf Goodman in New York and Neiman Marcus stores across the country, we curate distinct viewpoints, environments and merchandise assortments that best reflect the local customer, their lifestyles and interests.

bruce pask

Christopher Fenimore

bruce pask

Christopher Fenimore

bruce pask

Christopher Fenimore

What is B.Shop and what makes it special in the context of men’s retail? What are some of your favorite pieces this season in the store?

The B. Shop is a multi-brand, mixed-goods store concept that I created to meet a demand I saw for a style-focused, wardrobe-focused specialty menswear presentation that focuses on casual work and high and interesting weekends. -wear. I travel a lot and have found many brands that specialize in one item or genre, as well as smaller designer brands that I think could have meaning and significance when presented together, marketed as one would organize a closet. The arrangement helps guide customers in creating their own looks and helps them find new favorite pieces. We are in our third year in the store and continue to have a strong online presence. I interact a lot with customers and followers on Instagram, so the online store is a great way to be able to serve customers everywhere. I made a program of lightly tie-dyed linen shirts, shorts and chore jackets in shades of blue from Altea, a great Italian brand. I also just did a collaboration with Herschel Supply Co. on a line of six canvas and leather travel pieces that I love. We always get great handcrafted pieces from Bode and a brand called Post-Imperial made in Nigeria, colorful, graphic and really fun for spring.

bruce pask

Christopher Fenimore

bruce pask

Christopher Fenimore

bruce pask

Christopher Fenimore

bruce pask

Christopher Fenimore

What do you look for in finding a new brand for a store? What do you look for when buying a new garment for yourself?

I constantly scour the market for things that I find interesting, exciting and refreshing and always with an eye on our customers and their perspectives, needs and wants. I’ve been in the menswear business for quite a long time, so I rely on my instincts and intuition when I see a brand or designer that piques my interest. We are in such an expansive creative period in menswear, with so many great collections to choose from. For my part, I totally subscribe to the idea of ​​having a uniform, a signature style if you will. I have staple pieces – certainly the chore jacket in all fabrics is in heavy rotation – which I mix and match regularly while injecting new pieces regularly to keep things interesting. When you see so many great menswear in our stores, it’s super easy to embrace new pieces to keep things exciting and refreshing.

My style has definitely evolved over time. I absolutely have a uniform that is sort of based on a balance of dressy and casual pieces. I almost always wear some kind of jacket, a button down shirt and khakis or wider leg jeans. I like pieces that add a bit of personality to my rather classic combinations; a slightly oversized shirt, a jacket with a subtle detail or design.

bruce pask

Christopher Fenimore

bruce pask

Christopher Fenimore

bruce pask

Christopher Fenimore

What are the things you can’t live without? What are the wardrobe essentials that every man should have in his closet?

I have a deep love for Italian cuisine, so I always try to manage my pasta intake. I love a chore jacket, so I don’t really feel complete without one most days. When it comes to wardrobe essentials, I’m all for self-determination, for wearing what feels best, most comfortable, however you want.

You are about to travel for Market and Fashion Weeks Abroad. Do you have a favorite place to travel?

I love Copenhagen and I’m very happy to be going back in August. It’s an absolutely beautiful city on the water with amazing restaurants, kind and generous people, and everyone rides their bikes everywhere. It’s always a wonderful experience and I will attend their fashion and market weeks. At Neiman Marcus, we continually seek to identify and cultivate relationships with emerging designers. We are always eager to discover creativity, select the best from what we see and introduce new brands to our customers.

Are there any trends you see that show a shift from pre-pandemic to the current situation? In the wake of everything from recession to war to the demands of the office, what are your predictions for where menswear is headed?

There has really been a shift with the return of in-store shopping, with a focus on luxury and dressiness, including a spotlight on bespoke evening wear. At Neiman Marcus, we continue to see strength in men, particularly in our ready-to-wear assortment and footwear, which can be attributed to the return of celebrations, events and in-person travel. For these occasions, customers want to express their individual style with new styles. I definitely see that desire to dress to stick around. Even though work and office wear continues to loosen up, we think there’s a growing desire to wear separate suits and suits just because it feels good.

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