I met Bernard briefly at the Prom last week. I knew he had style when I spotted him sporting a peach tuxedo but I didn’t realise exactly how stylish until I got my hands on his label Xenheist’s Summer ‘look book’… below is a short interview with him about Xenheist.
What were your reasons behind the creation of Xenheist? Were you trying to fill a gap in the menswear market when you created the brand?
Xenheist didn’t start out to fill any particular gap I saw in the market, but a design ethos that I subscribe to in all outlets is to try and do it my own way, so as I started to design, the brand started to form its own identity with its own little points of difference and it just seemed to start finding its own place. I think in a sense Xenheist has created its own identity now, as the designer I just come up with ideas and check to see whether they are compatible with this entity that is the brand.
What are the limitations and advantages of being a Perth based designer?
The disadvantages and advantages of Perth are really flip sides of the same coin, that is, that Perth is a relatively small city and that it is located far away from most of the country’s population. Being where we are I think has helped the west coast create its own style, it is a bit fresher here because we aren’t being influenced to the same degree by the same things. Its one of those things about Perth that is mentioned in a lot of creative fields, we have a disproportionately large number of influential bands that come out of here too. The big disadvantage is of course that you need to be where the people are if you want to sell anything, and as far as materials go we tend to get the left-overs after the east coast has done their pillaging. But flights just keep getting cheaper, the internet works well, and everyone says that the girls are prettier in Perth, so I’m not in any major hurry to change bases.
3 words to describe the Summer range…?
Kinda like clothes.
How do you find Perth/Australian people respond to the designs you create?
It’s been really positive, not everyone gets everything I do, which is to be expected, but there are those people out there that get very excited about the label and its points of uniqueness which is really inspiring.
What does the future hold for Xenheist?
Well I’m going to the pub tonight, but I’m planning to make lots more clothing after that. I have done a couple of Australian Fashion Weeks in the last year and now would really like to start looking at participating in some international shows, I am really interested in expanding the scope of the brand and in Xenheist releasing some cultural theory as a product, and maybe also making some Xenheist space-suits too.
Where is Xenheist stocked in Perth?
The summer range will be available in Method in Mt Lawley and Lucky Stripe in Freo.
Visit Xenheist’s website- www.xenheist.com.au