My Style: Bruce Pask

Portrait Bruce Pask, men's Fashion Director at Bergdorf Goodman

Photo: Arnaud Pyvka

Who taught you what you know about style?

I have learned a lot about clothing from some rather amazing mentors. I worked for a long time for Jim Moore, the Creative Director of GQ Magazine, who taught me the foundations of men’s fashion and style. I then worked with Annie Leibovitz, who taught me about naturalism and the deconstruction of clothing. Every working experience and photo shoot is an opportunity for growth and learning. I really love that about our industry. It’s incredibly fertile.

Please describe your style in three words.

Personal, casual, uniform.

What is the biggest mistake one can make when getting dressed?

Doing it in the dark.

Do you believe in role models?

I believe in aspiration, and sometimes that requires an example in order to help one forge a clearer path.

What are your favourite fabrics?

I will always love denim and tweeds, but I am particularly fond of a mill in the UK called Fox Brothers & Co. Their fabrics are quite singular.

Are there any style combinations that you object to?

I'm simply averse to trying too hard. However, that is not the same as making an effort. I'm all for making an effort with one's appearance.

Which city has the best-dressed men?

I love the diversity of good old NYC.

Would you say that you are conservative or bold?

I am quite simple in my approach to dressing, with neutral colours making up most of my wardrobe: greys, navy, khaki. However, I do have an occasional deviation from that which I always find surprising; the odd piece that strikes me.

What are the rules, if any, in the way you dress?

I don’t like the limitations of rules, but I do usually, and quite naturally, look for a balance in what I wear. I like to walk the line between dressy and casual, with neither one trumping the other. To be clear though, I do not put a lot of thought into this process. I have a general uniform that I find quite easy to adjust and update from time to time to keep me interested. We are in fashion after all and one must always stay curious in order to continue to remain vital.

Celebrities and style...

Do not always accompany each other.

A man should always look like...

He made an effort but didn’t try too hard.

How do you select your clothing every morning?

I spring out of bed, jump in the shower, and then head to the closet to have a gander. After a moment’s perusal I throw it on and head out of the house. From the alarm ringing to the door shutting on my way out, the whole process only takes about a half hour. I’m pretty speedy.

Your biggest regret is...

Nonexistent. I’m grateful to say that I have been very fortunate in this business and in life. I am not plagued by regret, but certainly filled with gratitude.

The three essential things a man should know about style are...

Make sure your clothing fits properly. Make sure you are looking your best and dressed appropriately for the occasion, whether it’s at Coachella or the Oscars… context is key. When in doubt go dressier, as it’s much nicer to be over than underdressed. Be yourself, but do make an effort. Style is personal, and each one of us is different. It’s nice to take cues from stylish icons or even someone you see walking down the street, but make sure it suits you and your personality.

We will never see you wearing...

Square-toed shoes… or a skirt.

Do you have any shopping rituals?

For me, it’s less about shopping rituals and more about specific shops that I revisit regularly. I definitely have my regular haunts.

The most stylish person you have ever seen...

Tilda Swinton is quite astonishing. I also admire some men in our business who always look impeccable and interesting, with a style that seems absolutely innate: Robert Rabensteiner and Stefano Tonchi are two exemplary men of style who have the charm and kindness to match.

What is the first thing you notice on a man?

It varies, from person to person. I find everyone to be quite distinct, for better or worse.

Which new designers do you follow and why?

I am very intrigued by Alexandre Mattiusi and his line Ami. I love the charm of his taste. He had a great presentation in Paris this season, a rather casual cocktail party, with models mingling with guests in an apartment near the Bastille. His clothing looked so at home on the models and the crowd was so cool that one could almost not tell who was who. I loved that.

What are the most treasured items in your wardrobe?

I have reissues of vintage Levi’s jeans that I wear until they are threadbare. They never go in checked baggage. Carry-on, only. I also have an old grey wool A.P.C. jacket that I wear almost too regularly.

Is comfort an enemy of style?

Not absolutely. But one must remember that it is not necessary to have the room and range of motion in a suit jacket for turning cartwheels. I like the constraint of a snug, well-fitting jacket. It’s how it’s meant to feel.

Which designer never fails to impress you?

Dries Van Noten.

The best words of advice you have ever heard?

Everything happens for the best. Though it may not seem so at that exact moment, the passing of time and a little perspective will sort everything out.

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