Haute Chicago

Bathing Beauty!



The days of shopping for a swimsuit off the rack are so over! Nowadays, it's a must that your swim attire is just as haute as your street wear. Long gone are the days where basic was the norm. We all want to be sexy yet fashionable when on the beach or at the neighborhood pool. So who better to hook is up than Bernard Moore, former assistant editor of Black Men's Magazine who also happens to be the lead designer of Bath House swimwear!!!

Bath House has been worn by some of the sexiest ladies in the game. Ladies like Lisa Raye, Melyssa Ford, and Nikki Minaj. He has also presented on BET's Rip the Runway, and music videos/ad campaign's for TI, Diddy, Nikki Minaj, and Urban Ink.

We had the chance to sit down with Bernard and talk about what's hot in swimwear this spring!

HC: Bernard, you are someone who has spearheaded the high fashion swimsuit trend. Tell us how you made the transition from Black Men's Magazine to designing HAUTE swimsuits?

BM: When I started designing and styling for magazines like Blackmen's some 12 years ago, there wasn't a lot of editorial emphasis placed on the quality of the make-up, hair styling, accessory styling or even the bathing suits (for that matter). The focus was placed squarely on the model and her physique. However, as the genre began to gain in popularity and the competition for newsstand and subscription dollars intensified amongst the leading urban publications, the overall production value of the "stories" we shot improved.

As a designer, creating "looks" for magazines like Smooth, King, The Source and (the aforementioned) Blackmen's proved to be a great training ground for me. I was able to develop my style, gain valuable feedback directly from a growing female readership and mature into a more serious designer. However, the need for a transition away from the "urban glamour/entertainment" side of the industry in favor of the HAUTE boutique swimsuit business I now manage became evident as inquires into my work started to come from more serious, mainstream industry sources.

I began to design with high fashion magazines and high-end store placements in mind. No more thong bikinis for models with oversized rear-ends. I explained to my friends and supporters that "I needed to design smarter, cut smaller and think bigger". And that's exactly what I've done.

HC: What was your inspiration for the spring line?

BM: This season my inspiration was twofold; a marriage of big, bold, primary colors coupled with architectural type style-lines and construction. My style is contemporary. The look is modern and the collection introduces new or modified cuts. As with collections past, by goal is always to walk that fine line between the cutting edge style, comfort and commercial sale-ability. With this collection it was my intention to push that envelope a little further.

HC: What were some of the trends you were excited to translate into swimwear?

BH: I don't know if it qualifies as a trend, but I have always admired the work of classically trained, couture dress makers. I am often inspired by a smart dress or a fabulous gown. I have been excited in the past by the results I've gotten by applying dress making style-lines and sewing techniques to contemporary swimwear looks.

HC: What trends do you wish would just go away?

BM: I love this question!!! In as much as I love black and white stripes, and have included the fabric print in my Spring/Summer 2013 collection. After seeing a Barbie doll sporting a black and white striped one piece, I now wish this trend would just go away. Lol!

HC: Women come in many shapes and sizes, what steps should we follow in order to pick out the perfect swimsuit?

BM: The first rule (in my book) in picking out the perfect swimsuit is to ignore the "SWIMWEAR POLICE!" This is not to say that it isn't important for one to pick an appropriate bathing suit in terms of color, style and fit; or that there aren't valuable tips to be offered to the "hard to fit" shopper. There are. It is to say, the most important thing to remember when shopping the perfect swimsuit is to have fun! The expectations women (in particular) place on themselves when shopping for a bathing suit takes the joy out of shopping. Here are some basic tips that will assist the average female shopper pick a more perfect swimsuit:

  • If you are pear shaped wear bold prints and embellishments on areas you would like to enhance and solid colors to minimize any areas of concern.
  • For busty women choose bra style tops with underwire and adjustable straps. Many one pieces have hidden underwire for added support. Banded halter-tops with thick ties offer great support without the expected underwire.
  • For women with boxy or boy-like Shapes, monokinis create fabulous curves. Suits with less coverage, such as tie side bottoms and triangle tops create the illusion of curves.
  • Petite women should look for high cut bottoms. High cut bottoms help create the appearance of added height via the illusion of elongated legs.

Remember, there is only one Kate Moss! Let your choice of swimsuit reflect the best YOU that YOU can be as you make your way to the beach or swimming pool this summer.

HC: Who has been your favorite person to work with so far?

BM: As a sought after swimwear designer and fashion stylist working primarily in the "urban glamour" arena, I have dresses everyone from Melyssa Ford to Angel Lola Luv (a.k.a. Angel Monroe) and most of the top girls in between. However, my favorite person to work with by far is model, turned actress and (now) former First Lady of Turks & Caicos, Lisa Raye. While I was not on set with Ms. Raye when she shot one of my bikinis' for the cover of Blackmen's Magazine, her personal assistant called me from the location in the California desert where they shot to convey her gratitude to me (and all involved) for making her shoot a pleasurable one. I subsequently ran into her at the Magic Show in Las Vegas where we were both exhibitors, and then again at her "All-White Mansion Party" in New Jersey where I showed my collection. Each time we met she was warm, welcoming and down to earth. This is something you can't always say about celebrity talent. Trust me!

HC: What celeb haven't you dressed that you would love to design for?

BM: If I were granted my ultimate swimwear designer wish list (in terms of who I would love to design for), that list would start with Lady Gaga. I think style wise; her team is currently at the top of the creative food chain. As a swimwear purest, I would also love to design for Kate Upton. With a modeling career that spans a range from Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition to Vogue Magazine, Kate Upton is the swim suit designer's ultimate swimsuit model.

Other international rising star models that I would love to design for include Liya Kebede and Chanel Iman. Not to leave out Hollywood; It would be an honor to design swimwear for Janet Jackson, Halle Berry and/or Kerry Washington. They are all glamorous actresses that have attained an unmatched level of professional achievement, while maintaining their bodies in perfect swimwear condition.

HC: What can we expect from Bathhouse in the future?

BM: Bathhouse Swimwear is poised to expand its reach and visibility over the waters. I have been speaking with business concerns in Germany and we are in talks about marketing my brand to new audiences. The European market makes sense to me as it is the avant-garde movement, started in Paris and expending throughout, that continues to influence the advancement of the arts from literature to fashion. You can expect Bathhouse to refine its presentation, increase its visibility at high profile industry events and diversify its market base.

HC: Where can our Haute Chicagoans go to stay in the know with Bathhouse Swimwear by Bernard Moore?

BM: Your visitors can "like me" and "subscribe" to my posts on Facebook. They should also "follow" me on Twitter @Bathhouseswim. Soon I will be announcing the re-launch of my flagship website which is currently undergoing re-construction. In the meanwhile, Haute Chicagoans wishing to stay in the know regarding Bathhouse Swimwear by Bernard Moore should simply check in right here on www.HauteChicago.com for updates on the pending swimwear e-commerce portal as well as my role as this site's Swimwear Concierge coming later this spring.