Monday, May 7, 2007

CFDA Snapshots

Michael Bastian might know men’s clothing better than anyone. After holding the title of Bergdorf Goodman men’s fashion director for five years, he launched his own eponymous line three seasons ago. Now, after chalking up raves for designs effortlessly combining luxurious casuals with well-tailored formals, Bastian’s been nominated for his first CFDA honor, the Swarovski Award for Menswear.
So, are you excited about the nomination?
It’s a little bit surreal and happened so quickly to me. I’m just trying to absorb it all.

What do you think about the category and your fellow nominees?
What great about the category is that my fellow nominees are all pretty new to this like me. As much as I design, I seriously almost never shop, so I’m less than familiar with their designs.

You’re Bergdorf Goodman’s former men’s fashion director. How did that experience translate into your designs?
My brand is finding that middle ground between designer consumer and luxury consumer. I cater to guys with a very good eye, who love that good suit and a tie while also wanting to wear that comfortable, well-made sportswear. The ideal consumer is a solid American guy who likes his clothes done on a luxurious level.
Why do think it’s Americans who understand that niche better than anyone?
We love real luxury. We love to buy something and feel like wearing it for ten years. I know American luxury has kind of become a hollow term, but the consumer could spot a right article of clothing from hundreds of brands that are out there.
What are your eventual goals with your company?
I really want my brand to grow organically and just let it develop in a sincere manner. We’ve added categories like bags and socks when it felt right and natural. But at times it can be like a snowball effect as the snow and demand just keeps on rolling.

Are you resting anywhere this summer before the showcase of your next big collection?
Yes, I need a real break! Preferably, I want to go to Arizona in July or August and not do anything at all.

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