Love & Sex

Bernard on Ferragamo, being a designer, and why he hates piercings on a woman

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Bernard on nerve.com street style fashion blog  
What's your name and what do you do?
Bernard James. I’m a clothing and accessories designer based in New York City. In fact, I like to say “fashion philosopher,” since everyone is a designer these days.   

What are you wearing?
I’m wearing a Calvin Klein overcoat, a pair of Warehouse x Dubbleworks Japanese selvage denim jeans from Blue in Green, a Ralph Lauren button down shirt, a J. Crew sweater, and my favorite shoes: green wingtip boots from Ferragamo. I got the RRL scarf from my favorite thrift. The hat and foxtail are from my Hunt and Gather Project.  

What are some of your favorite places to shop online?
I prefer to not shop online, because I shop with my hands more than anything. I like to feel. But when I do shop online, I usually stick to Gilt.  

Some fashion blogs that you read all the time?
I always read Valet Magazine's blog, A Continuous Lean, and PorHomme. A friend of mine also has an amazing blog that I frequent.  

Skinny pants: over or awesome?
Skinny pants are clean. Why not wear skinny’s? They complement almost every style and sit beautifully on any pair of shoes.  

What are some articles of clothing that you consider essential? 
Aside from a fresh set of undergarments, a white oxford, a pair of slim denim jeans, a pair of brogues are definitely essentials to me. A favorite of mine is a white, western style button-down by RRL. My favorite jeans are from A.P.C (of course), and shoes, these hunter green wingtip boots from Ferragamo.  

If you're sizing up a girl, what are some outfit details that you really like?
Personally, I love the natural look. If there is too much makeup, I’m instantly turned off. It’s like… what are you covering up? As far as clothing goes, I love to see a woman in layers. Layers, done tastefully, do more for me than any lack of clothing.  

What are some things that are absolute dealbreakers?
I hate to see a woman with anything that looks ridiculously unnatural. I love tattoos but hate piercings. My current interest actually wants to get a septum piercing. (I told her I’d just end our relationship right there.) No disrespect to females who have many piercings. It’s just not for me.  

If you were going out, trying to get laid, what would you wear?
Anything. I’m Bernard James. (Relax, I’m kidding.) But up until recently, I actually thought for a long time about what I wear when I go out. I’ve come to learn seventy-five percent of what you wear is how you carry yourself. At the same time, I understand that most of my worn wardrobe is comprised of clean-cut semi-formal attire.  

Best clothing items to keep on while having sex?
For the female: Socks, depending on if the female has bad feet or not. I can’t do the nasty toes. For me: My Burberry timepiece, and one of my bracelets.  

Why do you think women are attracted to you? Funny thing is, I dress a bit mature for my age. Ask my best friend, Kelle. When we go out, females my age barely look my way, but older females seem to be mesmerized. I think it’s my demeanor and large presence. (No, I’m not cocky… Okay, yes I am.)  

If you were to go home with a girl, what's something that, if you saw it in her apartment, would make you turn around and leave? Another guy waiting.  

Do the clothes you design inspire what you wear or vise versa?
The clothes I design are clothes that I wear. Now, the clothes I wear are inspired by the past, present, and future. By the past, I mean styles from iconic time periods. The present refers to current trends and styles (whoever says they don’t take note on what is happening now is a liar). The future refers to where I see myself a few years from now, and how I plan to change the dynamic of the industry.  

Do you think your fashion knowledge helps you with women?
I’d be a conceited fool to say my fashion knowledge doesn’t help me with women. What you wear is the first impression you give off to anyone upon meeting him or her. I’d say my sense of style suggests I care about myself enough to adorn it properly, and most women like
that. Also, what better way to show your personality than through clothing? The art of style, for me, is knowing who you are and how to relate that through what you wear.