When it comes to packing for the onslaught of fashion weeks in Europe, Justin Berkowitz is no rookie.
As director of men’s fashion at Bloomingdale’s, Berkowitz regularly navigates the circuits between London, Milan and Paris, adapting to the changing climates, terrains and style aesthetics in each fashion capital — so it’s no surprise he has a few secrets to getting his packing game down to a T.
Here, FN learns his travel essentials.
What are your go-to travel shoes? Why?
“I tend to wear my heaviest pair of shoes — usually boots — to save space in my baggage, according to the adage of wearing your bulkiest pieces on the plane. In the winter, that’s often an old pair of Tricker’s black leather lace-up boots, and in the summer, a pair of desert boots.”
What and how many shoes are you packing? Which brands?
“Normally, I would pack three or four variations on a theme, typically versions of white sneakers. This trip, I’m trying to switch it up a little bit and am packing shoes that feel aesthetically very different. I will be gone just over two weeks, so I’m packing six pairs total: a classic pair of Bordeaux leather derbies from O’Keefe, low Wallabees from Clarks Originals, brown suede loafers from Church’s, Margiela’s army trainers in white, a pair of Nike Tailwinds in gray and, for the gym, Hoka One One’s collab with Engineered Garments.”
Do you have special ways of organizing or packing your shoes when traveling? Any special bags or items that you use?
“All things practical: Socks tend to get rolled and stuffed into my shoes to save space, [and] if I have a wheeled carry-on then the heaviest shoes go in there instead of checked baggage to cut weight. I always use dust bags, mostly to protect my clothes from the shoes than vice-versa.”
What is one trend that you are most excited about and why?
“One trend that I personally find fantastic is the whole movement toward wider trousers. I’ve always had rather bulky legs so the whole skinny-pant trend never worked for me. I find fuller pants more appealing and comfortable. Since I’m not particularly tall, the key for me is to focus on pairs with a tapered fit that stop at the ankle. Shoes with a slimmer profile are definitely required for this look.”
Are there any other go-to items that you always travel with?
“I’m a little over-focused on organization and like for everything to have its place. This thinking applies to my carry-on, too. I heavily rely on pouches and essentially have little bags for everything including electronics, travel toiletries for the flight, business cards, my passport and foreign currencies. These stay packed and in my carry-on so they’re always ready to go. A travel steamer is also essential. A lot of work travel takes me to Italy — if you have spent much time there, you know that the hotels cannot provide you with an iron.”
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