Haute Living Exclusive: Interview with Nick Wooster, Men’s Fashion Director for Neiman Marcus Group Services

The October chill in the air has blown the HEAT to Neiman Marcus at the Village of Merrick Park. Guests mingled about the Man’s Shop for an exclusive cocktail on Oct. 14. The evening event was hosted by special guest Nick Wooster, Men’s Fashion Director for Neiman Marcus Group Services, the Miami Heat’s Chris Bosh and GQ magazine. Bosh was on-hand to meet fans and sign commemorative basketballs. Proceeds from the night, including a $10,000 donation from Neiman Marcus, went to The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis, the fund-raising arm of The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, a cause chosen by Bosh.

Neiman Marcus went GQ for the night as celebrities, philanthropists and well-dressed members of Miami society alike teamed up for a night of fashionable giving. Guests were treated to cocktails and hors d‘oeurves, beats by DJ Irie and an array of the latest fall trends. Bosh’s fiancée Adrienne Williams accompanied the All-Star, and Marc Buoniconti, president of The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis, was also in attendance, along with several other local supporters, such as Stephanie Sayfie-Aagaard.

I sat down with the sartorially savvy Nick Wooster mere hours before the cocktail reception for a run-down on what else, fashion. His seasoned roster includes a former role as director of creative services for Los Angeles-based Splendid/Ella Moss, and past positions at John Bartlett, Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Barneys New York and Bergdorf Goodman. Now based out of New York, Wooster lends his eye for sinless style covering Neiman Marcus stores, Bergdorf Goodman and the Neiman Marcus online and catalog division. Feeling a bit underdressed (as anyone should sitting adjacent to a man of impeccable style), Wooster divulged about men’s fashion, and what Neiman Marcus holds in store for shoppers.

Haute Living: As THE man of menswear, tell me about your role at Neiman Marcus.

Nick Wooster: I am the eyes, ears, and mouth for the store, in particular, all areas of men’s fashion. I go to the shows and preview looks before buyers, communicate with the merchant team, and work with buyers on ads and key looks.

HL: So, the face of Neiman Marcus menswear must not get a lot of downtime.

NW: I travel from store-to-store around the nation meeting with and educating our salespeople, and scouting new merchants in between.

HL: What’s on the agenda for this trip?

NW: I spent yesterday and today presenting fall trends to our team here at the Coral Gables store, as well as giving them a preview of spring.

HL: And for tonight’s event?

NW: We’ve partnered with GQ for a meet-and-greet with Chris Bosh to bring attention to the Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis. The charity is important to Neiman Marcus and special to Chris.

HL: How is Neiman Marcus aiding the charity’s mission?

NW: On behalf of Chris, Neiman Marcus chose to benefit the Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis with a $10,000 donation and proceeds from a silent auction for a signed basketball.

HL: Local athlete for a local cause; can’t go wrong there. Tell our readers your idea of Miami-cool style for braving the heat.

NW: Specific to men’s needs — regardless of the guy — it has to be great fitting. It has to feel comfortable with them. They want that “I look great” swagger without being too much of a peacock.

HL: Any suggestions for our male readers on how to achieve that swagger?

NW: Bold color, somewhere. Even if it’s just a pop of it on a tie with a camel suit.

HL: Speaking of swagger, seeing that you recently had the opportunity to view the men’s spring shows, can you give us a taste of what we can expect to see next season?

NW: Shorts…and, the different ways of wearing them. Especially in a warm climate, such as Miami, guys want to be comfortable.

HL: How did the recent shows influence Neiman Marcus stores?

NW: The runway always influences us. Even if we don’t buy the exact look, the filter by which Neiman Marcus decides what goes into our stores is always tied back to the runway.

HL: Any trends in particular that resonated with you?

NW: Major trends drive us. There was absolutely a mix of military and preppy. Seersucker shorts will be a major message, from casual to tailored, worn with a jacket.

HL: How about looking at the color-wheel?

NW: We love blue.

HL: Any new directions Neiman Marcus is steering toward in the near future?

NW: We’re constantly looking for and evaluating new brands and concepts. My input, as far as climate needs go, is to be smarter. Super classic or edgy, the designs we choose to carry guarantee good taste and great style. We want our customers to feel confident that something they buy at Neiman Marcus will make them happy and last, whether it’s a necktie or a leather jacket.

HL: You seem to be doing just that fairly successfully. Neiman Marcus has a beautiful store here at Village of Merrick Park, is there anything you’d like to share with our readers?

NW: If a guy hasn’t come to visit our store here, I would invite them too. They might be surprised. If they already shop here, there’s always something new and unexpected.

HL: Neiman Marcus carries the leading designers. Is there one designer in particular who stands out in your eyes?

NW: Tom Ford. He is one of the most interesting new-ish brands that is really capturing attention around the world. A man in Tom Ford will develop a nice, long relationship with the brand. Ford is very smart about positioning his product. He’s a name that is going to remain huge.

Tom Ford may be on his mind, but for his look for the day, Wooten chose another Tom to cover his body: Thom Browne, bringing a little bit of a L.A. vibe to the Coral Gables store.

For more information on, or to make a donation to, The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis, visit www.miamiproject.miami.edu.

To see the latest in Men’s Fashion at Neiman Marcus, visit www.NeimanMarcus.com.

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