Drafted By: By Shannon Little
Provocateur ~ Opinionated ~ Not a Fan of the Status Quo ~ Difficult: Meaning Stubborn ~ Politically Incorrect ~ Contrarian.
These were the SIX definitions Vernard used to describe himself when I asked him the question “Who is Vernard Goud?” Are these self-imposed definitions accurate? They may at first glance appear to have a negative connotation to them, but if one truly delves into their actual meanings one will realize that Vernard does indeed know himself well. He is not afraid to admit and speak the cold, hard truth about himself and the world we live in. One thing that I have known for years, and certainly discovered through this interview, you can never judge a book by its cover, for inside, the real story is always so much more revealing.
Vernard was born in the city of Rotterdam, Holland but grew up in the small town of Zwartewaal/Brielle, literally meaning Blackpool, which was located just outside of Rotterdam.At the age of nine, his family moved to Saudi Arabia for his father’s business, and they returned to Holland when he was 12. Those three years in Saudi Arabia had such a profound impact on Vernard’s life, shaping and influencing the way he views the world, forming many of his opinions that he still holds today. He remembers being driven into the city to go shopping and witnessed the police cutting men’s hair if it was too long, for that was deemed a crime. He was also aware (but would not look) when hands would be cut off in the street for stealing or beheadings would occur for drug crimes.
Although he was only a young boy, he was keenly aware of the on-goings around him, and he recalls them like they were yesterday. It comes as no surprise that these past experiences have greatly impacted how he interprets things to this very day. Upon returning to Holland, a country that was extremely liberal, with such a laid back lifestyle compared to Saudi Arabia, it was a complete culture shock for him. He was indeed experiencing polar opposite worlds colliding on more than one level. He had left Holland as a young boy and was now returning as a teen to a country where the kids could drink, go to clubs, dress up in nice clothes, and they didn’t have any rules to follow like in Saudi Arabia.
Arriving in Canada, specifically, Coquitlam, BC, at the age of 15, in November 1981, was yet again another culture shock. Canada was very behind in Pop Culture, Music and Fashion compared to Europe. Having lived in different countries with such diverse cultures the one common thread throughout it all is that,
“I have always been and felt like an outsider, and I take pride in that. I don’t view that as a negative at all. “ ~ Vernard Goud
I asked him where did this confidence come from? He replied that he has always been an old soul, a thinker and that when he started Karate in 1981 (which was not common or popular ~ in fact it was quite a rare sport/art) it helped to give him more self-confidence. He also started Kickboxing shortly after moving to Vancouver. From the ages of 8-17, he idolized Elvis Presley. He was obsessed with Elvis’ movies, concerts and loved the fact that Elvis was an outsider, but did what he wanted and became the King of Rock ‘n Roll. Elvis was also in Karate, and Vernard thought that was cool. When it came to school, he was one of the few who dressed up, listened to new wave, eclectic and underground disco music, but this did not get him ostracized or picked on. In fact, quite the opposite, he had many friends, some of which were recent immigrants like himself. Vernard thought of school as just for school and could not wait for the weekends, when he could go downtown and find everything that he and his friends wanted, like the cool clothing shops, import record stores, and culture.
The people at school however, who were drawn to him were the outsiders and displaced kids. He has always been a big advocate for the people who do not fit in, supporting the outcasts and urging people to be unique, “I wanted to be a voice for the underdog and dislocated and I still want to be.” ~ Vernard Goud. Vernard and his sister Saskia joined John Casablanca’s Modeling Agency in September of 1982, and this had a huge influence on his future career. “I did a fair bit of modeling locally, but Saskia’s career skyrocketed.” ~ Vernard Goud Through John Casablanca’s and driving Saskia to all of her shoots locally he met virtually all of his friends, contacts, photographers and other industry cohorts. Despite not being too happy initially about living in Canada and wanting to move back to Holland, he had another very influential experience that made a huge impact on his life. In August 1983, he attended David Bowie’s concert at B.C. Place.
WWW.METROLIVINGZINE.COM NEWS IMAGE CREDIT: http://bit.ly/19qO2ba
This was Vernard’s first concert and Bowie represented the King of the Outsiders, for new wave and Alternative music. Bowie was and still is a Style Icon. He felt understood and inspired at Bowie’s concert, for Vernard believes that Bowie lives in, “his own Universe, he can’t be compared to anyone else, he lives in his own “BIG” world and he doesn’t cater to the masses.” . David Bowie is seen as a generalist, someone who takes a LITTLE from everything. A LITTLE cabaret, a LITTLE bizarre art, some Warhol, some Avante Garde then creates his own melting pot…by combining and creating his own vision of sight and sound, he really makes people think. This inspired him, and he always remembers to this very day, that during his own events and shows, he likes to mix things up, doesn’t like things to be the same or follow the status quo. He wants to create critical thinkers at his events.
Vernard’s present day career did not happen right after the Bowie experience. But, life was indeed getting better. In late August 1983, he began dating his first girlfriend whom he met at Bumper’s, the underage New Wave Club in Surrey, BC. Shortly, after attending the underage club he managed to obtain some false I.D. and started going to Luvafair, where he once again experienced eye-opening adventures. Luvafair catered to all the outsiders, punks, new wavers, drag queens, rockabilly’s, and models. “It was like walking into a Federico Fellini film…very much like Studio 54. Same ideology, mixing and matching, totally eclectic crowds.” ~ Vernard Goud. After graduating from high school he began working at the local clothing stores of Grafton & Co. and Thrifty’s Jeans, these would be his first jobs outside of the modeling gigs.
WWW.METROLIVINGZINE.COM NEWS IMAGE CREDIT: Vernard with longtime friend and business associate Raphael Mazzucco at Raphael’s Art Exhibit in the Delano Hotel, Miami, FL ~ Dec. 6, 2014 / Photo credit: R.J.
In the fall of 1989 while at Luvafair he met the fashion photographer Raphael Mazzucco. They have maintained a good friendship for the last 25 years. Raphael went on to become one of the world’s top Fashion photographers shooting for companies such as Victoria’s Secret, Guess, and INTIMISSIMI, and also showcases his personal art work at Art Exhibits. Despite living in different countries Vernard’s and Raphael’s paths would continue to cross at various times throughout their careers.
Vernard did general film industry work, such as doubling, standing in, general background work and special skills (i.e. martial arts) for about 10-14 years, till about 2006. He took a course at Vancouver Film School ~ the Entertainment Business Management Course ~ which teaches students all about film production and event production etc. However, two months before graduation from the course, he was still uncertain as to what he wanted to do. LITTLE did he know, that when he joined Facebook in May 2007, that this social media outlet would open doors and help to pave the way for his current career. As a joke he created a Luvafair page (kind of like a tribute to the club which had officially closed in 2003), but it was so popular, it grew to over 1000+ members within 3-4 days.
“I am fascinated by time and its meaning” ~ Vernard Goud and because of this he has saved many things from the past such as photos, song lists, music, and articles etc.
People on Facebook and in his social circle were continually saying that he should throw a party and suddenly the vision was formed! Luvngraceaffair became a company. The names were a combination of the nightclubs Luvafair and Graceland, created by his ex-wife Julia. The first big Luvngraceaffair Event occurred on September 26, 2007, at Richard’s on Richard’s, and it was such a financial success; a completely SOLD OUT event, that he knew he was on the right path. For the next two years, every three months Luvafair Events were thrown around the city, eventually parlaying into Fashion and Beauty events.
Vernard threw a Benefit Event near the end of 2009, for the now late fashion photographer Gaetano Fasciana who had been a friend of his for 25 years. This Vancouver event was extremely successful and was attended by every true professional in Vancouver’s Fashion, Modeling, and Beauty Industry. However, the event that catapulted Vernard Goud and Luvngraceaffair into working with Vancouver’s best and biggest names and literally put him on the map occurred two months later when he threw a party with Lancome, Paris for Raphael Mazzucco, who was coming home for the 2010 Winter Olympics.
“The real mover’s and shakers of Vancouver’s Fashion and Beauty industry attended this event, the top designers, the professional models, Liz Bell, Malcolm Perry, Bob Lenarduzzi, Richard Models Agency, the who’s who in Vancouver was there…” ~ Vernard Goud
WWW.METROLIVINGZINE.COM NEWS IMAGE CREDIT Poster of Luvngrace & Interscope Records presenting the Official LADY GAGA After Party August 23, 2010
He started to throw the Official LADY GAGA After Party’s in the summer of 2010, and they have continued every time she is in town; always featuring her best friend and D.J. Lady Starlight. He continues to this very day to host fabulous parties and events, often uniting with his dear friend Adam H. Hurstfield, of XOXO Entertainment Corp., at the Xi-Shi Lounge in the Shangri-La Hotel. He also has this amazing ability to throw events that are a combination of lowbrow meets and highbrow parties at The Astoria Hotel, The Imperial, Club 560, etc.
WWW.METROLIVINGZINE.COM NEWS IMAGE CREDIT: Jim Michaels, Adam H. Hurstfield, and Vernard at the Xi-Shi Lounge in the Shangri-La Hotel, Vancouver, BC / Photo Credit: Dominic Manea
Although he would love to see the club scene of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s re-established in Vancouver, he doesn’t see it happening because of social media and how society today is so dependent on immediate gratification. It is simply a different world. However, he is still trying to make and bring his own style to parties and events, “the tossed salad approach” ~ Vernard Goud, where everyone from all different backgrounds and styles intermingle. Vernard is constantly looking to other International cities with thriving Night Lives for ideas and inspiration for his events.
WWW.METROLIVINGZINE.COM NEWS IMAGE CREDIT: poster art basel Luvngrace Event Poster for Raphael Mazzucco ~ Dec. 5, 2013 at the Delano Hotel, Miami, FL.
Vernard also has BIG goals and dreams to expand outside of Vancouver to work on an International scale. The first big International Event he threw was in Miami on December 5, 2013, for Raphael Mazzucco’s Art Exhibit, at the Delano Hotel with the Rosenbaum Gallery and the Morgan’s Hotel Group, with Pamela Anderson hosting the Event. As he continues to expand his company locally and globally Luvngraceaffair has expanded in both its name and what it encompasses and provides for its clients and event attendees. LuvnGrace Entertainment and Luvngrace Entertainment Events : Beauty, Art, Music & Fashion proudly supports local artists, like Jimmy Cummins aka I, BRAINEATER (Punk Art Icon) and the talented local Russian artist Kristina Napolskih who will be debuting her 1st ‘BIG’ solo exhibit on April 17th at the Xi-Shi Lounge benefitting Beauty Night Society.
However, he is also currently working on projects/events with International artists like Raphael Mazzucco (Photographer/Artist); Chloe Trujillo (Fashion/Artist); Daniel Sanford (Photographer/Artist); Ward “HAIRWIZARD” Stegerhoek (Celebrity – Fashion Hairstylist) & Vicky Steckel (Celebrity – Fashion Make Up Artist) with possible venues being in Miami, Berlin and the Bahamas. Knowing how fascinated he is with Art, Fashion, Music and the eclectic icons of the past right up to the present it came as no surprise when I asked him who he would like to spend a day chatting with. He replied, “Andy Warhol, because he is one of the most influential artists of the Twentieth Century on Pop Culture, Media and Advertising.”
As for music he has always had an eclectic taste and currently he enjoys the styles of Aphex Twin, London Grammar, Lorde, Flying Lotus and of course Lana Del Ray who he always refers to as his “future ex-wife”. Gotta love Vernard’s ‘OPTIMISM’.
WWW,METROLIVINGZINE.COM NEWS IMAGE CREDIT poster art basel 02 Luvngrace Event Poster showcasing Raphael Mazzucco’s Exhibition at the Delano Hotel in Miami, FL ~ Dec. 5, 2013
This interview began with Vernard describing himself with some definitions that many people at first glance may deem negative or self deprecating but the truth is despite growing up in a very privileged lifestyle he was always taught to appreciate and respect anything and everything that was ever given to him. He has always looked out for those who could not necessarily look out for themselves, provided support for those who didn’t fit into the status quo and if you are someone who represents yourself for who you truly are: a unique human being with scars, flaws and idiosyncrasies, then you will earn the respect, trust and loyal friendship of Vernard Goud. He is a man whose mind has always thought on a global scale, who likes to be challenged and made to think and likes to make others think. Being unique and different, standing out from the norm, not being a carbon copy is what he appreciates and values. He has the incredible ability to unite people from all walks of life into one room and make the party a smashing success connecting people whose paths perhaps would never have crossed had they not attended one of his events.
This unique gift will continue to benefit him as he pursues his dreams and goals to expand LuvnGrace Entertainment and Luvngrace Entertainment Events : Beauty, Art, Music & Fashion. This man who loves to post beautiful quotes and breathtaking photos on Facebook and then contrast them with posts and tweets to stir up a LITTLE controversial conversation definitely knows who he is, “I grew up with a world view and the desire to always want to know what’s going on elsewhere. I’m curious as hell even if I don’t like it” ~ Vernard Goud.
I have learned that his story cannot be told or judged by simply looking at the cover, and it is definitely worth the read!
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