“God creates the contents, we only supply the container. Bathhouse Swimwear” – Bernard Moore
Designer Bernard L. Moore Jr. is a force to be reckoned with his Bathhouse Swimwear. Formerly based in New York City, now his headquarters are located in the Washington, DC Metro area. A freelance swimwear designer and celebrity fashion stylist Bernard is greatness in the making.
Bernard Moore is the creative motor that drives this emerging swimwear company’s engine. Bathhouse Swimwear, LLC has had amongst its client list G-Unit Clothing Company, Pelle, Seagram’s Gin and Magic City Entertainment.
As a teenager Bernard Moore attended the renowned Arts High School located in Newark, New Jersey. After high school Bernard enrolled at Virginia Wesleyan College. There he majored in Business Administration with a minor in Visual Arts/Illustration.
In 1995, Bernard Moore debuted his first swimwear collection to rave reviews at the Fashion Institute of Technology’s Annual Breast Cancer Research Charity Fashion Show, New York City, New York. In 2000, Bernard Moore was hired as the Assistant to the Fashion Editor at Magazine.
In 2002, he was promoted to Lead Fashion Stylist. As Lead Fashion Stylist, Bernard was responsible for booking talent, coordinating photo-shoots, arranging showroom pulls, custom designing and making swimwear for the magazine’s covers [and inside photo-stories] as well as coordinating the swimwear looks with shoes and accessories for the talent on-set.
In 2004, Bernard Moore incorporated his business under the trade name Bernard Moore/Style & Design, LLC. As an independent contractor he worked with a wide array of celebrity clients including; Big & Rich; Diddy; 50 Cent; Nelly; T.I.; Lisa Raye and Chante Moore.
In 2005 and 2006, the B.E.T. Television Network featured Bernard Moore on its’ annual celebrity/entertainment fashion show “Rip the Runway”. VH1 also featured Bernard Moore in its program “Ford Model Agency World Super Model Search – Albania” Fashion Show in 2007.
In 2008, Bernard Moore incorporated Bathhouse Swimwear, LLC. “I feel uniquely positioned for success as a swimwear designer” Bernard explains, “I have learned to incorporate my varied business experience with my passion as a creative person”.
Recently elected Central New Jersey Chapter President of the National Association of Fashion & Accessory Designers (NAFAD), Bernard Moore is poised to make indelible mark on the business of swimwear.
Lateek: What city were you born and raised?
Bernard: I was born and raised in Newark, NJ.
Lateek: Where does your artistic influence come from and when did you start making clothing?
Bernard: My artistic influence derives from members of my immediate family. My father was a writer/poet/filmmaker; my mother, in addition to becoming an attorney, was also a fine artist; painter, sculptor and notorious style maven.
Lateek: Everyone has to start somewhere. What was your first job?
Bernard: My first job was in my grandfather’s Tailor Shop/Dry Cleaning establishment. He was a master tailor, suit, & dress maker. He peaked my interest in sewing by teaching me how to perform basic alterations on men’s clothing. However, my primary duty was putting the dry-cleaned clothes on hangers and then into the clear plastic bags.
Lateek: What was the best advice you received from veteran designers in the industry?
Bernard: The best advice that I received from an industry veteran was: “There is a thin line between the avant-garde and bullshit, your job is to get as close to that line as possible without going over.”
Lateek: What was your most memorable challenge as a designer?
Bernard: My most memorable challenge as a designer was preparing for my first appearance, on B.E.T.’s celebrity fashion show “Rip the Runway.” I had virtually no budget and little time. I worked night and day for about two weeks.
There were no sample sewers, no fit models, no production assistants, or fashion/accessory stylists. Just me. And I “SLAYED!”
Lateek: How would you describe your fashions and style?
Bernard: My swimwear style can be described as “sophisticated sexy.” However, “cutting edge” and “smartly innovative” are also adjectives that have also been used to describe my design style.
Lateek: How did you develop your interest in fashion design?
Bernard: Aside from my grandfather introducing me to the sewing machine, my mother played the biggest part in my developing an interest in fashion design. My mother was, and still is, a physically beautiful and very style conscious woman. Growing up she would further my interest in style related matters by asking for my opinion while holding up two dresses pondering which one she would buy.
I’m not sure [‘til this day] if my 5-year-old styling advice ever swayed her purchasing decisions one way or the other, or if she was just attempting to get my cognitive and creative “juices” flowing by including me in her decision making process.
Either way, I took her queries very seriously as I weighted the “pros & cons” of each dress or hair style choice she considered. The result? I began to develop strong opinions on how I thought “things” should look and a curiosity about they were constructed, at an early age.
Lateek: Who is your dream client?
Bernard: It’s a tie between Lady Gaga & Rihanna. If the issue was forced at gunpoint, I’d have to say; Lady Gaga! LOL
Bernard: The advice I have for aspiring designers is to allow yourself to be “bad.” Allow yourself the latitude NOT to be “the best,” and then work your hardest to become “the best.” In other words, don’t quit after your first bad review or unsuccessful collection. Often time people learn more from failure than success.
We live in a society where instant gratification is taught through social media and reality shows, that it is literally possible to become an “overnight” success and reap all of the financial remunerations that come with one’s new found celebrity.
However, that person, in my opinion, is an EMPTY VESSEL. We should all be constantly working towards learning to perfect our craft, no matter where we are in our respective careers. I would remind aspiring designers that Tiger Woods still practices his putts, and Stephen Curry still shoots a copious amount of foul shots. Even the GREATS practice and are NEVER SATISFIED!
Lateek: What upcoming fashion show or event are you looking forward to?
Bernard: I look forward to making the pilgrimage back to Miami Swim Week, participating in the convention and shows, and shooting on the beach while I’m there.
Lateek: If you had a dream company to design for, which fashion brand would it be?
Bernard: Working for another company besides my own, dream or otherwise, is highly unlikely for me at this point in my career. However, ten or fifteen years ago I would have given anything to design for Vitamin A.
Lateek: Who are some of your favorite designers?
Bernard: I have a distinct appreciation the following under-publicized designers of color; Armando Cabral, Carly Cushnie, and Duro Olowu.
Lateek: Name 3 celebrities who have the best style to you?
Bernard: Rihanna, Lady Gaga & Beyoncé
Lateek: How would you describe your own personal style?
Bernard: I would describe my personal style as “geek-chic.” I create swimwear looks for others. However, when it comes to me, I’m a fashion nerd and I’m good with that. I buy what I like. I’m not tied to any particular trend, but I do enjoy looking and feeling stylish when the occasion calls for it.
Lateek: Where would you like to see yourself as a designer in 5 years?
Bernard: I see myself continuing to expand my customer base into the wider, more international market place. I see measured growth coinciding with my broadening understanding of exporting and international manufacturing.
Lateek: What magazines do you subscribe to?
Bernard: I currently do not subscribe to any magazines, but if I did, I would choose; Allure, Vogue, Elle, Complex and Nylon.
Lateek: What are some of your favorite pieces in your collection?
Bernard: My favorite piece from any collection I create is always the last one.
Lateek: What upcoming projects are you most excited about?
Bernard: I am very excited to have recently been commissioned to design my second men’s swimwear sample line. I will be working, on a freelance basis, for a promising new swimwear company based in the Washington, DC area.
The first men’s collection, also designed as a freelancer, earned the owner a Vender Agreement with& International Male.
Lateek: What does fashion mean to you?
Bernard: Fashion design is my medium for creative expression. It’s my canvas. It’s my block of granite. It’s my typewriter. It’s my voice. It’s my contribution to a larger creative conversation.
Lateek: What do you see in the future for the fashion industry?
Bernard: Optimistically, I see the fashion industry continuing to evolve. I foresee the industry purging itself of some of the last, but stubborn, vestiges of racism and classism.
I foresee the industry leading the way for other, even more strident sectors of business and society, by lending its collective voice, and influence over popular culture, to address matters concerning; international human rights, sexism, racism, homophobia, police brutality and environmental sustainability. Or at least, I hope so.
Designer: Bernard L. Moore, Jr., Bathhouse Swimwear
Photographer: Yianni Papadopoulos, MetroVisual
Makeup Artists: Erin Mabray & Brittany Briley
Hair Stylist: Tiffany Pratt
Talent: Lindsey Weller & Nadia Farrell
Hecht Warehouse at Ivy City
1401 New York Ave., NE Washington, DC 20002