From The Daily Stylist: All In Theory

by The Daily Front Row

(NEW YORK) For his return to Vegas this year, it’ll be a crapshoot where to find Andrew Berg, VP of merchandising and sales for Theory Men’s. Between the pool, the blackjack table, The Bank nightclub at the Bellagio (for hip-hop night!) and, oh yeah, milling about the trade show floor. This dapper dude knows a thing or two about balancing work and play.

Impress us with a one-line resume. Go!

I’ve been with Theory for a year, spent about eight with Ralph Lauren, a couple with Abercrombie, and four at The Gap.

Whew! Theory is quite a different aesthetic from Ralph Lauren.
Oh yeah!

What’s your favorite part about working for this brand?

We’ve got a fully functioning design, pattern and sewing room directly across the street from our headquarters. We make a 3D pattern in-house first, make sure it’s perfect, and deliver that pattern to the factory. Having worked at three major corporations before, none of the different departments—business, design, technical and fabric—worked this closely together.

What do you think about Olivier Theyskens work at Theory so far?
I think he’s great. He’s got a designer pedigree, and thinks very conceptually, but he’s got his finger on the pulse of what the consumer responds to in terms of fabrics and silhouettes. And I think he understands the commercial aspect of retail and clothing.

Any chances of him designing a men’s line?
He definitely works closely with the head of men’s design, myself and Andrew Rosen to conceptualize seasonal ideas, but currently there are no plans for him to have his own label in men’s.

What is Andrew Rosen’s day-to-day influence on the line?
He’s around all the time and he’s very hands-on, but he doesn’t micromanage the executives in the company. In essence, he’s there to be a guide on how to stay true to the company. Andrew’s mantra is, “The clothes that we put out need to have integrity.” We’re not designing seasonal collections just to fill up racks.

Does he ever design any of the clothes?
He influences design and he has his own input. And while he’s not a designer, he certainly understands design.

When you walk out the door in the morning, are you wearing head-to-toe Theory?
I try to be an ambassador for the brand because I love what we’re doing, but from a fabric fit and silhouette stand point, I’m wearing a lot of denim with more tailoring on the top. I think it’s exciting how we see the modern guy evolving, pairing different elements of his wardrobe in a newer, more exciting way.

How did Theory 38 come about?
We really see the active element being an important component, so that’s what inspired the collection. It mixes urban street style with more technical details you’d find on true active wear.

For example?
We see the guy wearing a cool down vest underneath a sport coat, a great techy sweatshirt under a blazer,
or track pants with a cashmere sweater. It’s definitely a mix.

What’s the Theory look right now?
There’s more of a dressed-up, modern feel that’s moving away from the rustic workwear.

Thank god!
Yeah, there’s much more well-fitting pieces out there now.

What men’s pieces do women usually want to keep for themselves?
Our new sweatpant is something the girlfriend would steal. It’s got a ribbed bottom that she could pull up and scrunch on her calves. In the Theory 38 line we have a ton of sweatshirts in different styles, and I could see the fashionable girl in the household borrowing them all.

Have you ever been to Vegas before?
Quite a few times. What happens in Vegas…

Any favorite haunts?
The poolside BBQ at the Marquee Dayclub. I’ve had a lot of fun at pool parties whenever I’ve visited. The Bank at Bellagio is a lot of fun too, especially on Sunday night for hip-hop.

To gamble, or not to gamble?
I love a good card game. Blackjack and poker are my favorites!

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