News editor Skylar Bergl agreed to an interview right outside the entrance to #NYFWM, and we decided to sit in an Escalade we’d been granted use of by one of the Cadillac representatives hovering around. Much to our surprise, when we opened the Escalade door we found none other than Gabrielle Union staring us in the face.
She looked pretty irritated and said: “HEY.”
We apologized, closed the door and stepped into the correct Escalade ten feet away.
Anyway, here’s Bergl on the meaning of #NYFWM, the leap from being a tumblr fashion enthusiast to full-time style writer–and which articles he’s writing next.
What do you think of all the hype around New York Fashion Week: Men’s? Is this thing for real?
I think it’s real and now is a good time. There’s been so much discussion about whether we need this or not. But if you look at the global fashion community, there’s literally men’s weeks in every other big city that has fashion weeks. I mean Paris Fashion Week has men’s and women’s; men’s comes first; they always do it. Why not do it here in America, where we do have a good base of designers? I’ve only been here for an hour, but it looks good. The build-out’s impressive. There’s money behind it, clearly. And I think if they do it smart and get the right names attached, which they’ve done this first season, then it’ll stick around. It would be nice to see a guy like Thom Browne, who I love, and is huge in New York, do a show here again after the one he did in Paris. He did a presentation, here, today, but not to the extent that he does in Paris. Getting those names here, at least in name, is good. But I think the coming seasons will legitimize it.
Does the presentation vs. runway show situation symbolize for you designers hedging their bets, unsure how much effort to put into this inaugural thing?
For the bigger names, I would definitely agree with that. I would also say that’s a designer-wide idea, too. I think runway shows are cool. I think presentations are cool in their own way. I think the bigger names are hedging their bets, but that could be smart money on their part, because it can be expensive to do a runway show right. If this goes well, I bet the designers dipping their toe in with a presentation will jump in once they see the water’s fine. Ralph Lauren doing an appointment-only presentation…I mean, he does that normally, so I don’t know how to take that. John Varvatos doing a runway show to close it out, he’s a big name, and that’s great. What if a Tom Ford did this? That would be a huge coup. Maybe it will come in the next seasons.
What did you think of the Public School presentation?
The collection was great, very them. I like the clothes. I liked the looks, how they did the police lineup thing, and extended the theme with the speaker calling models forward one by one. It’s good to continue a theme like that, to follow through with it. I dig it.
How did you get into fashion? Were there writers or designers that made you think you should get into it professionally?
I think it was more tumblr. In my junior year of college, early 2011, I remember seeing there was a fashion community there. I had always been into clothes, but not seeing the deeper side of it. That immersed me. I ended up getting deeper and deeper, the interest became a hobby and I actually spending money on things. And just doing that you start to learn more. And you start to read more. You notice bloggers and writers. It’s a rolling stone going downhill getting bigger and bigger. I always wanted to be a writer in some capacity. I have a journalism degree from Drake University in Iowa, I literally majored in magazines. I interned at Popular Mechanics and Fast Company, which became a job. But it was always work was work, and fashion was my hobby. I bought clothes, participated, blogged. Met guys through twitter. It became a job when I got the Four Pins job. Now it’s all I do. This and soccer. It’s pretty cool, though. I like working in fashion.
Who are your favorite writers about menswear and style in general?
That’s a tough one. I work at Four Pins and really like Jon Moy. Because he’s unapologetic about his tastes and what he likes and doesn’t like. Jian DeLeon at Complex is really great. He’s really conscious of things, with a broader scope. I really like Noah Johnson at Details. He’s got his hand on the skater beat, a little bit. And still skateboards a lot. He’s really clear on what his interests are. Dirk Standen, he’s really got his eye on the prize. If he’s interviewing someone he really knows what he wants to get out of a subject. And the other one who writes just a ton, now, is Lauren Sherman. The business side, womenswear and menswear. She’s very smart and really attuned to things happening, whether trends or business developments. She’s really smart, I really love reading her. Tim Blanks, of course, is a god. And Angelo Flaccavento, when he pops up. We’re blessed now with a lot of good, smart writers. That’s why this is happening, now. People have been saying this for the past three years, People are paying attention to menswear now! But it’s true, and people here, we know each other, we say hello, we see each other at Fashion Weeks. It’s a tight knit little community.
What are you trying to accomplish at Four Pins?
Me personally? I really love to write features. When it comes down to it, there are people designing these clothes. Seeing where their inspiration comes from. Not on a collection by collection basis, but an overarching ethos. However you grew up is going to influence you as a designer. I love telling those stories. That’s what I want to do more often. We do that at Four Pins somewhat. The human piece of fashion is something I want to get more into. I’ve got nothing in the hopper right now. I want to talk to Chris Stamp at some point, because he’s getting a lot of shine, and is accessible and his stuff is solid quality, and he did the Puma thing last week. I also want to talk to some of the Korea designers that are blowing up right now. Document and Plaque, who showed yesterday. And I was thinking about the guys doing Chapter, which I like. There’s a lot of brands that I’d like to tell their story. But finding it and doing it takes a lot of time.