When Fashion Star, NBC’s new reality fashion competition, premiered Tuesday, one moment stuck out the most from the first episode.
Contestant Nicholas Bowes, a former model, presented three motorcycle jackets for his looks. Then the judges, Jessica Simpson, Nicole Richie and John Varvatos, weighed in.
Bowes did not like what he heard from the female judges. “It’s very hard to understand the girls giving advice about men’s fashion,” he told the judges. Simpson retorted that she was very angry at his comment and said she wanted to smack him across the head.
To no surprise, Bowes received no bids from the buyers after that seemingly sexist comment. And at the end of the episode, he was sent home.
The Hollywood Reporter spoke to Bowes after his elimination. The designer said he had no regrets about what he said. “I definitely 100 percent was not referring to all women in general,” he said. “The comments were very much directed at Nicole and Jessica at the time.”
“Nothing was really said about the jacket. It was more about the styling,” he added. “And that’s what sort of triggered my comments. I just couldn’t understand that the girls up on the stage actually knew what was going on in men’s styling.”
Bowes, who says he has been in the business for more than a decade, told THR that he didn’t go on the show to become “the next fashion star” because he feels that he’s already pretty established. Rather, he hoped to get more exposure for himself and his brand.
Bowes added that he admires Varvatos and respected his comments “because he’s done his time in the business.” When asked whether he didn’t feel the same about Simpson and Richie because they had been celebrities first and then went into fashion design, he admitted that while he was sure they were “very good businesswomen,” he did feel that his remarks were probably sparked in part because of that reason.