Thursday, April 14, 2016

Finest LyfeStyle's { Bernard  Campbell }

Bernard  Campbell attributes the vision and creative influences behind Nardesigns to the vibrancy of NYC's 1980's Graffiti and Street Art scene during the boom of the Hip Hop Era. As a Brooklyn Native growing up in the Brownsville and Williamsburg sections of East New York, before property values would skyrocket and gentrification would take place, Bernard ran its streets letting his name be known by tagging up every and anywhere he could. In hindsight it can be seen as a foreshadowing to his legacy. Jumping from rooftop to rooftop, drawing inspiration staring at the Manhattan Skyline, its seems the Humble means that helped cultivate Nard also manifested the Creation towards his greatest Dreams....  
The story of Nards home life is an all too familiar one for 80's babies. Bernards Father was an Army man enlisted for 2 years which left Nard to be raised by a young single Mother. Coming out of the progressive yet still turbulent 70's, the 80's NYC streets were engulfed in gang affiliated turf wars. Upon Nards fathers return his Dad ran with a Gang called the Decepticons and in 1985 was shot & killed by the same streets he once claimed. In light of this tragedy, at only 9 years old Nard knew he needed to make a change or meet the same fate. Around this time his mother began dating his step-father who then, after much begging on Nards part, would introduce him to the DJing game, teaching him how to Mix and Scratch then donning him with the name B-Ski. Heavily influenced by Slick Rick, Dougie Fresh and The Get Fresh Crew, flavor and style were big in the 80's. Hip Hop was a live movement that gave ghetto youth aspirations to wear the best, be the best and have the best. With the progression created via all the elements of Hip Hop it wasn't long before the connection of targeted annihilation would begin to take place with crack cocaine ravaging the streets turning our unified people against one another and as result B-Ski's equipment stolen & sold for drugs. There was an all time high of shootings and stabbings everywhere. That's when Bernards Step-Dad stepped up and moved his family to Holyoke Massachusettes. At this point Nards scope would broaden to include blending of Latino and Puerto Rican culture which he felt was different from his up bringing yet grew to love while still incorporating his African American Heritage from the South by way of his Grandmother.
During the early 90's, while the Fresh Prince was taking over Bel Air-waves, Bernard moved back to New York to live with his Aunt in Long Island, a well respected pattern maker working in Manhattans garment district and in similar style to Will Smith's character on the show, Nard made the best out of his transition by combining his knowledge of the streets and applying everything he would learn to his craft. As any good Auntie would do, she put Nard to work in their in-house sewing room executing pattern cutting, holding or trying on garments. Watching her work and listening to her advice was a great inspiration for when he was placed in a Catholic High School where there was little to no creative freedom in outfits. As a young entrepreneur, Bernard began imitating the The Shirt Kings of Queens using the skills he learned to create original designs on outerwear for his classmates revamping his 'vandalism' by evolving from tagging with pilot, magnum phat markers & Krylon spray cans to designing custom prints using airbrush & acrylic paints. 
"I looked up to them for doing artwork on streetwear for big names like LL Cool J, Big Daddy Kane, Public Enemy etc, also Daper Dan Uptown known for his LV, Fendi & MCM patterns on clothes...  doing the outfits for Eric B & Rakim Follow the Leader album cover as well as EPMD.. These were my Idols growing up so I felt I could model myself after them, give my peers some fly gear and make money doing it."
While showing some of his prior works Nard made a name for himself tagging fellow students names and characters on their jeans & jean jackets calling this phase of early branding "Graffiti Off the Wall'.  Peers were selling weed or on a paper route to get some pocket money and Nard was able to hustle up any where from $10-$100 depending on the designs. Even amidst haters trying to steal his clientele they simply could not match the one of a kind designs only Nards vast experiences and creativity could offer. By the 11th grade Nard's Aunt enrolled him in a Saturday class at the Fashion Institute where she went to school and while this was a cool experience Nard wanted to see what NYC had to offer cutting classes to get an education only NYC could provide. At ages 15-16 music was a huge part of his everyday and even though he fell back from DJing he set out to pursue his other talents as an MC rhyming with his closets friends and cousins naming the group Boiz 2 Pimps, a play on the Boys 2 Men era. They later Changed the name of the group to Explicit which would then be used as the fashion statement and logo for his brand but always creatively evolving that would change through the phases of Nards Life. After graduation Nard would travel to FIT in NYC where being surrounded by Madison Square Garden and Times Square is attributed to one of the best times in his life. Living in a Co-Ed dorm Bernard was immersed in the great Melting pot of culture and artistry New York would expose him to. Still, coming from an era of fashion where  his closest friends & family wore high end labels such as Ralph Lauren Polo sport Guess Tommy Hilfiger Nautica Gucci Louie there was the increased peer pressure to stay fresh heavily influenced by crews like the 'Lo Lives' from East NY Brooklyn & 'A Tribe Called Guess." Boosting from Macy's was almost becoming a Cult thing wherefore Nard as a collector he was looking to build his own brand and much like his graffiti style he wanted his name to touch everything from Clothes to Furniture to Linen.. The Macys and A7S of the time were like the street and he pulled various influences from seeing all the designer names in all the various departments. To Nard is was more than just clothing.. It's a Lifestyle and a Culture. So after giving it much thought Nard decided to embark on furthering his studies taking Fine Art courses at FIT through a program provided by the EOC that took students like Nard to museums & Broadway shows. He got to gain inspirations from riding the trains and just taking in all the sites. 
"Looking at art allowed me to draw inspiration... I knew it was for me as well as I got to make lots of friends, we learned during the day & partied in the dorm rooms at night.. The program also took us out for 3 meals each day got me starting to paint, draw... Took sculpting classes & a few Liberal Arts courses...  It was amazing to have so many art classes improving on my raw skills doing 2 semesters traveling back to long island on weekends at that time names like Mark Echo was on the come up printing shirts in the basement of 1 of the FIT class buildings where there was a gym & a place where some people had access to silkscreening T-shirts & that's where I thought one day I would want my own line."
Bouncing back and forth between his loves of Fashion and Music, Nard was a part of another group in the city called dark theory where they did a wutang type of thing with a large group of independent artist as 1 group recording while continuing to  work with his group Explicit back at home. Explicit put out tapes with my his artwork on the covers with the first show lined up to open for an up and coming group at the time called the 'Fugees' with Lauren Hill Wyclef & Pras were unfortunately it wound up getting snowed out so they rescheduled the show. Throughout the 90's Nard's main focus was his music in true artists spirit found himself bouncing from massachuesettes to NY to Philly.. all while developing his presence as an artists. He took the Explicit name of his group and eveloped the concept behind his clothing line naming it explicit USA by Nardesigns. He wound up staying with his then girlfriend in Queens across from Laguardia Airport who was going to school to become a pilot when they found out they were expecting their first son as he worked as a Barbershop to make a life for his now growing family. Once Nards he knew he needed a change, that's when a person from Jagg Entertainment a branch off from Arista Records signed him to their label. As a songwriter he did demos however the division would end up folding. At the time his Aunt calls inviting him to her new textile and pattern shop she was opening in the heart of the Garment district asking if he'd like to come work for her.  Given this new opportunity Nard began making digital patterns using the Lectra system which turned to be a dream come true. Digitizing patterns, emailing them overseas & personally delivered to local clients where once in a while he would be lucky to walk into a show room & see some of the inner workings of what goes on behind the scenes. 
"I learned a lot & I was able to provide more for my family with this job, I ran Manhattan midtown uptown downtown east side west side i was all over enjoying access to everything a young barely 20 something could want so I took that opportunity to start my first t-shirt line while doing patterns. I found my own shirt spots wholesale & places to print my logos 'Explicit & Isis'. I had a website made called did a photoshoot with models, me & my son it was on! I saw the black expo was coming to the Jacob Javitz center I got a booth down by the Chelsea peer sold lots of shirts met lots of people networking taking me to other events business was picking up & I loved my day job then one day on a day off I was with my son & saw the Twin Towers was hit.. NYC shut down. The Manhattan office was closed & my aunt took the business back to her sewing room in her basement at her home in long island where the patterning started. I got a payout & had to go find something to do so I applied to other places."
With little opportunities for work available, the devastating times of post 911 affected many businesses. Frustrated Nard went back to school to further his vision while still pushing his t-shirts. During that time he wound up doing a short interview on MTV talking about hip-hop & fashion, shot a commercial with no budget with a NYU film student who worked at a print shop printing some business stickers for him. Nard also had an commercial on Black Planet doing a fashion show hosted by Ralph McDaniels from Video Music Box where representatives of hot 97 were present. He gave Uncle Ralph a shirt and while putting in that work also had an opportunity to do a photoshoot with Lotus magazine winding up in Foul Magazine with a 2 page spread. All this while studying graphic designs & logos at Katherine Gibbs where he graduated & continued to push the clothing on anything from Hoodies to Linens while online people where signing the Nardesigns guestbook from the UK in support of the growing Brand. 
The grassroots effort pushing his designs on the street had been fueld even more by the acceptance of Nardesigns in other parts of the world and it was great for Nard to find balance between the music and fashion worlds so when one was slow the other would begin to pick up. After a mournful period the spirit of NYC began its rebirth as the people were figuring how to rebuild family, community and businesses. One day out and about Nard met one of his idols Russell Simmons at one of his Phat Farm locations getting to shake the mans hand and some sound advice to always represent your truest self and push forward. Nard ran with what he learned, never compromising participating as audience member in shows such as 106 and Park wearing his gear attracting some airtime even getting to meet Free and AJ the Host of the time. Working with a fellow Nassau county native by the name of DC Nard got to move merchandise via local radio airwaves later evolving with the boom of social media going from advertising on Black Planet to include Myspace, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter doing a full promotional assault via footwork and online promos. 
All of the promos and show under nards belt lead him to connecting with a comedian going by the name Joker where the two began cross promos with jokers 'Super Ugly Movement' getting even more shows and runways under his belt. The Super Ugly Movement Defines itself as us being a superhero of your own definition of beauty \; not letting society define us..  Nard respected the movement and began to recognized he needed his own campaing and soin 2010 'Loyatly is Royalty' was conceived. Getting straight to work Nard had the logos pressed went on to define the movement as  "loyalty is priceless there for its royalty we promote loyalty in any situation loyalty integrity respect & incorporate royalty to fashion luxury lifestyle culture & way of life." 
Friends of Nards who worked at studios and on radio shows would have rappers perform and do interviews displaying fashion. Eventually Nardesigns was asked to do a logo in exchange for some studio time with the Logo being created for Nymrod. The two met back in '07 and since Nymrod always took a liking to his brand would inquire so Nard began to style him with a few pieces where Nymrod worked them into whatever he was doing. Over the years the two stayed in touch and through collabs wound up recording a couple things including a drop for Nards mixtape. A few years later Nymrod stared Federal District with his partners & once again he hit Nardesigns up to join Federal doing the promo clothing & cross promoting my brand with theirs. All worked out well with a deal with PMD from the legendry  EPMD they all met at the MGM grand hotel & casino for a show and Nard did the hit squad shirts which made it on stage as well as team takeover.  Nards styling team worked to get clothes to DJ Kotic who wore the brands designs on BET's 106 & Park this time live for the world to see. Nardesigns had a launch party hosted by model Heather Bianchi selling shirts in the club and taking Nardesigns to the next level. Nardesigns has made it to Hot 97 Summer Jam on Reggae artist Movato along side Drake on stage, given Maino some brand merch shirt and hit Duck Down event gave shirts to Buckshot Sean P & Roc Marciano, doing customs sweatsuits rappers including the Legendary Nas.  The demand for Nardesigns and the whole Loyalty Is Royalty Movement is on the rise... 
Currently Bernard Campbell has been making custom designed garments for the WuTang Management Artist & staff on PYN which stands for Protect Ya Neck records founded by the Rza & his cousin Mook back in the early 90s when the Wu Tang Clan released their break out single "Protect ya neck" followed by the "Method Man" single before being signed to LOUD records, PYN was a white label, the Clan went on to sign major label deals with Meth & Ghost on DefJam, Gza on Geffin & so on, they kept PYN  going & now one by one the Artist & staff have been reaching out to him to do their custom pieces with the WuTang company logo thats well known in association with their names & titles, to be worn at shows events festivals & for everyday wear. Golden era Rapper & WuTang member Cappadonna has requested to have some clothing made by Bernard. This has been a great opportunity for Nardesigns to cross promote his line with the Wu Tang legacy World Wide, Nardesigns is looking to cross promote & continue more ventures, follow the movement. THE SAGA CONTINUES, STAY TUNED!