Bruce Park, Bergdorf Goodman’s influential men’s fashion director, unveils his new shop-in-shop, B, within the New York institution.
Scan the peacocks preening themselves at men’s fashion weeks around the world and you will spot an undeniably stylish but relatively simply clad figure: Bruce Pask. One of menswear’s most influential buyers, Pask has been men’s fashion director at US department store Bergdorf Goodman since 2014.
At the start of this month, he extended his influence over the New York institution still further when he unveiled new shop-in-shop B, which will allow Pask’s followers – 66,000 on Instagram and counting – to buy into his carefully curated personal style.
The space was designed by Pask and his identical twin brother, Scott, a three-time Tony Award-winning set designer. It takes its design cues from Bruce’s own life: wooden walls and shingle columns are a nod to his seaside bolt hole in Long Island. Printed rugs and plenty of greenery add to the homey, comfortable effect. As Pask himself puts it, B could not be further from a typically cold and minimalist designer store.
The product selection on offer is equally personal, inspired by both Pask’s globe-trotting and his own wardrobe. B offers designers including Margaret Howell, Lou Dalton, Armor Lux and JW Anderson, as well as exclusive collaborations between Pask and Craig Green, Common Projects and Clarks Originals.
“B is very based around core items that I, and other men, want to wear again and again,” Pask tells Drapers. “It came about in part because we have some very fashion-driven brands, which are very graphic and visually strong, on our menswear floor. That can be a challenging space for more ‘wardrobe’-driven labels. We wanted to speak to that guy that might not be so into logo-heavy fashion but appreciates beautiful, quiet clothing.”
We’re seeing a more sartorial take, which is only natural after what has been a very athleisure-driven market
B has been carefully merchandised to allow its shoppers to build effortlessly stylish outfits from across different brands. Key pieces include a woven take on Clarks Originals desert boots, pleated straight-legged cropped trousers from German brand Closed and padded jackets from Craig Green.
Pask says he has picked only the very best from each label: “We’ve been very specific and only taken the key pieces, rather than representing brands in their entirety. We want it to be targeted and personal, which is what I think men – as well as women – are looking for from the store environment. There’s a sense of discovery and we want to speak to a range of different guys.” A range of items from the B store is available on the Bergdorf Goodman website.
Fresh from the autumn 19 round of men’s fashion weeks, Pask is confident about the overall health of the market: “I felt it was a really strong season. It is exciting to see brands taking a little bit more of a polished approach and experimenting with tailoring. We’re seeing a more sartorial take, which is only natural after what has been a very athleisure-driven market.”
As social media opens up the closed world of fashion weeks to consumers around the world, buyers are rapidly becoming influencers in their own right. Pask is not the only high-profile buyer with an exploding social following – MyTheresa fashion buying director Tiffany Hsu has more than 85,000 Instagram followers.
Giving shoppers the opportunity to buy into their favourite buyer’s looks all in one place, as Bergdorf has done, makes increasing commercial sense.
As Pask concludes: “I get a lot of direct messages from men on Instagram asking what I’m wearing and where they can buy it – and I’m happy to finally tell them: at B.”