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Fashion Star Interviewby Pattye Grippo    

Nicholas Bowes

This is an interview with Nicholas Bowes on March 15, 2012 about the show Fashion Star.

Question:
People said your designs were non-distinctive and dated and they weren't as impressed with them as they could have been. What's your response to that?

Nicholas Bowes:
I've had a lot of success with that jacket over the last five, six years. I've been in the industry for say 12, 15 years. And leather is a very distinctive taste. I think everyone needs a good staple jacket in their wardrobe. And you know, the jacket I represent had a lot of detail and you know, it's very different the construction make, so you know I do disagree with that comment. And you know, if you saw the jacket in person when you saw the still photos that we got from the actual show, you'd probably change your mind on that comment.

Question:
Would you have done anything from the beginning to the point where you left differently at all or would you have stayed exactly like you were?

Nicholas Bowes:
No, definitely I would have stayed exactly how I was. I do see my fashion sense was a little bit too forward for Middle America. We had another look at the piece offered and the actual styling that I brought forward. You know, it's a little bit too forward and it's very you know Japanese inspired, very you know European inspired. I definitely wouldn't see a lot of guys in Middle America wearing drop crotch pants.

Question:
What's next for you?

Nicholas Bowes:Question:
After you defended your designs to the mentors and got their reaction, do you feel like things may have fallen apart for you before the show ended or were you surprised by the elimination in the end?

Nicholas Bowes:
When I was standing out there Michael, I was a little bit shocked with the comments from the mentors. I took John's comment the way I did. It was just more effective. I did appreciate John's comments more because he's done his time in the industry he's been in the industry for 10, 15 years. And like most he was really good at it.

If you look at Alicia Keys, Pink, any of the top you know celebrities in the world they've all done their time in their industries and they've all been through good times and hard times. I was a little bit shocked by the comments from the girls.

Question:
Did you feel that during the designer portion that when you were in the studio making the jacket, you got enough feedback from the mentors in order to create a really good runway or did you feel like you didn't get enough?

Nicholas Bowes:
The only mentor that I spoke to was John. The two girls didn't actually come up and talk to me at all, and I actually did all my styling for the runway show. I didn't get any feedback from any of the stylists from the show.

Question:
Do you regret saying that women can't judge men's fashions or do you regret just not being able to clarify that with more of an explanation at the time?

Nicholas Bowes:
I think the biggest thing is being able to explain it. Actually I'm not too sure they edited the clip to make me sound like I actually did say women don't know men's fashion. But I actually did make a very strong point about that being in an interview afterwards that I was actually referring, ???Actually you girls don't know what you're talking about.??? I actually was referring solely to Jessica and Nicole about the men's fashion comment and especially to the point where they don't know what's current in styling, so it just got misconstrued a little bit but you know that's reality TV.

Question:Nicholas Bowes:
I definitely think that I was thrown off the show because of the comment. They just didn't go down too well on the night and it just makes for a great first episode. I think it caused a lot of controversy and you know it ruffled a lot of women's feathers and a lot of Jessica Simpson and Nicole Richie's feathers, their fans as well you know.

I've had a lot of responses and a lot of comments on my Twitter and it builds the show up to have a lot of controversy and that's fine. I mean I haven't got a problem with that at all.

Question:
You also said that you don't take criticism and feedback well. Do you think that's true?

Nicholas Bowes:
I do take criticism well. I just didn't feel that they were in a position to give me the criticisms they did. And not just because they're women, I just want to make that clear. It's got nothing to do with me being sexist or anything like that. I've got a lot of female friends that do men's fashion, a lot of buyers who I've got a beautiful wife and a beautiful daughter so I'm very far from being on sexist.

Question:
Who do you think does have potential to go far in the competition?

Nicholas Bowes:
I think there's a couple in there that's my sort of that I feel that has the knowledge when it comes to building a brand for the long-term. My vote would definitely be Lizzie Parker. I think Kara she's pretty talented. That's about it.

Question:
I'm curious what the process normally is like between a designer and a buyer compared to how it is on the show. Because normally do you get that much feedback from a buyer?

Nicholas Bowes:
No. No you don't. There's so many different ways to get in front of a buyer. One of the main things is usually you have a sales rep which usually have like a show room and then you do the shows, any of the shows in New York, Blue, anything like that. Usually if you're actually at the show or in the meetings you might actually converse with one of the buyers, but differently as a designer, no you don't. You don't get that type of feedback.

Question:
What is the advantage of that aspect of the show? And how does that help you or hinder you as a designer?

Nicholas Bowes:
This is from a designer sort of having been in the industry and there's a couple of stay at home moms and people fresh out of design school. Mostly it is about the show, they need to have everything at their fingertips like you've got your own cut maker, you have your sample maker and in cuttings you've got everything that you need in the real world right there.

Having to converse with the mentors which is fantastic and also having the buyers there taking work straight aways, it's just not heard of. You just don't get that out there so it's really positive to have that on the show. But I just feel like you know the biggest thing in being in the industry is actually knowing all the process that go into it from start to finish. Designers coming straight out of school don't really learn that in school and it's just something you learn through time and experience.

Question:
As a designer is there a fear of like by being on the show of maybe losing your style in order to please the masses?

Nicholas Bowes:
That's the thing, either you design for mainstream - Middle America - to get volume and styles or you stay true to yourself. You I've got a lot sort of to back that up and I've done that by designing what I like and not what everyone else wants me to make.

Question:
Looking back, do you think that this show maybe wasn't the right show for you because you did say you do more high end?

Nicholas Bowes:
No. No. Not at all. It's funny you expressed that. It doesn't really matter. I've learned that over the years and there's a lot of people around the world like from especially an American, an Italian, Australian, Canada, all these people actually know Nicholas Bowes now. And not that it was my positive light but I'm sure once a lot of people see what I create I think they'll appreciate and they will get more.

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