One of the highlights of this month’s New York Times feature on Pharrell Williams was the preview of his Bee Line fashion collection that is described as fabulous by writer Eric Wilson. The stylish man interviewing Williams in the promotional video paired with the piece on NYTimes.com is none other than Josh Peskowitz, the men’s fashion director for Bloomingdale’s, which will be launching the line in less than a month.
When Peskowitz arrived at Bloomingdale’s four months ago, the Bee Line collection was already purchased for Fall 2012 but if you see how enthusiastic he appears alongside Williams and designer Mark McNairy you can tell how fond he is of their fashion. Previously, he was men’s style director at Gilt Groupe’s Park & Bond since 2010. Before that he was style editor for Esquire.com and Men.Style.com. Peskowitz is also respected for his own sense of style. In May, Complex.com included him in the Top 10 of their “50 Most Stylish New Yorker’s Right Now” list which placed him ahead of Jimmy Fallon and Woody Allen to name a few. I spoke with Peskowitz about what we can expect from Bee Line once it hits stores in September.
What role did Bloomingdale’s play in the design of Bee Line. Did you make any suggestions once you saw the initial selection?
We don’t design the clothes. I don’t have anything to do with that particular creative process. That’s all Mark McNairy and Pharrell Williams. They did that together. We just purchased the collection and we worked out the ability to launch it with them because we thought it was great.
In the New York Times article Eric Wilson raves about some of the camouflage jackets and streetwear samples that he saw. Will that be part of the finished product that people will be able to see?
In the promotional video we were talking about the collection in general. Bloomingdale’s won’t carry every single piece from the collection but some of what you saw will be available. I can’t tell you the breakdown of what stores it will be in right now.
I am only aware of the promotional video being on NYTimes.com. Where else can it be seen?
It will be on Bloomingdales.com and then in certain stores when we do particular displays. It may be running in the stores as well.
Obviously the New York Times piece focused on the line but spoke of other ventures that Pharrell has in the works. Is there anything you wanted to add about Bee Line that wasn’t in the article so that his fans are aware?
The clothes aren’t really just for fans of Pharrell Williams. The collection is really well-thought out. He is designing with Mark McNairy who has two other lines that he designs. He does the Woolrich Woolen Mills line. He also has his own line called Mark McNairy New Amsterdam and he is an extraordinarily talented guy so the combination of those two guys did really put together something really special. It has its roots in workwear. It has its roots in streetwear but it’s very sophisticated clothing made with the highest degree of quality. It’s made in the United States and a lot of it is made with beautiful fabrics from England. It’s really just compelling clothing. While I am sure it will have a lot of appeal to people who follow Pharrell Williams and his career, I think it has plenty of appeal for a wide range of men.
What are your goals from a Bloomingdale’s perspective?
You launch a line. You hope it does well. You hope the consumer responds to it and that they buy it, wear it, enjoy it and come back for it next season. When you launch a line you don’t put it in every store but there’s always hope that when the consumer responds to it and we are assuming they will then the distribution expands. You just hope all the brands you carry have success and resonate with the customer.
Pharrell is an artist and a producer. Has there been any talk of him doing any in-store appearances at Bloomingdales to help bring more visibility to the product? Will he be wearing it in his videos or having his artists wear it?
It’s been discussed but I can’t tell you about any current plans at the moment. I can tell you that when I met him he was wearing the clothes to do the video. So I would imagine that he will be wearing them in the future. If people respond to it because it’s Pharrell Williams then that’s a huge bonus but the clothes do speak for themselves.
From the video I saw the bee logo is very huge and distinct. Is that the size on every piece of clothing?
No, it varies in size on different pieces of clothing. On a lot of it, it’s not even there at all. The bee comes in several different sizes. On the polo it is quite small and a normal size. When it’s affixed to jackets or pants it’s also small.
No, not currently but they designed some shoes for it which Mark McNairy designed. That’s one of his strong points and that’s actually how the collaboration began because Pharrell approached him to make a pair of shoes for the line and then they decided to design together. We will be carrying a range of things from workshirts to jackets. While outerwear will be on the higher end of the price point scale, I think that there’s definitely something for everybody from the collection.
In March, you landed at No. 6 on Complex.com’s list of the most stylish New Yorkers. That’s pretty big. How did you hear about that?
I was actually in Hong Kong when that list came out. I was honored to be included. A lot of my peers and friends were on that list too. It’s very nice to be included.