Monday, December 3, 2018

meet the Count of XOC

There is Count Dracula and there is the Count of Monte Cristo but few will know Count Cory (Bernstein) of Sarasota or Chicago! Some might recognize him from his Versace days and then there might some who recognize him from various social media platforms but what he most wants to be recognized and remembered for is his skincare collection that has just relaunched with an assortment of new products.
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I don’t think there are many who don’t wish to at least look a bit less worn if not ten years younger or more but short of either a miracle or surgery, the chances might be slight. Then along comes Cory with his newest collection named XOC Skincare. The “buffet of products” is skewed toward men and women who want to feel and look rejuvenated with the help of his latest beauty regimen.

So what you will read is the who, the what and the how of it all directly from the man who created it all and actually does hold the title of “count.”

So have at it and maybe Cory can lure you into his web of youth enhancing unguents, lotions and magical creams to bring back some of what has been lost  with the passage of time.
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 Jeffrey Felner: Can you sort of give us a brief run down as to how you arrived at your present station in life; you can be as personal or professional as you wish?

 Count Cory: I grew up with a close family who were all very successful in their careers. We were taught to work hard if we wanted to accomplish; full disclosure I was also very spoiled especially by my grandmother and because of her I actually thought money grew on trees.  My mom and grandmother owned “The House of Pamdora", Chicago's first woman's department store modeled after Henri Bendel in NYC. My Grandmother later became one of Chicago's first multi-million dollar selling female realtors. My father was an architect and my mom was always in fashion and gave me the best life that she was able to.

 Our home in Highland Park was a go to location which provided backdrop for some dramatic and stylish photographic shoots. David Chan, who was a top Playboy photographer at the time, did some test shots of me when I was 15 and sent them out and by 1982 I began my Chicago modeling career. I was dark haired and always put into the ethnic category but I still managed to pick up bookings despite that the all American look that was so pervasive at the time. Within a week of my college career John Casablancas asked me to leave school and join Elite in Paris but I demurred and did some local gigs instead but after college I moved and modeled in Beverly Hills where Omar who was the best men's agent in Los Angeles took me on.

Alas we make plans and God laughs and shortly I was forced to leave LA for personal reasons and return to Chicago. Thinking I’d be home for only a couple of months but before I knew it I soon began to work again but shortly thereafter I migrated to Europe. Gianni Versace used me in Athens for 3 months, then Giorgio Armani grabbed onto me along with other top designers for doing print editorials, then it was back to Chicago for a short time where I was instrumental in opening Mia Models in Mexico City which was one of the very first agencies to use models via direct bookings from the States. I and several others were the test cases for that business innovation. I shot for Uomo Vogue, Varron and Eres magazines as well as catalogs. I also modeled in Toronto and did a stint with L'Agence in Atlanta where Marc Cook (the owner of L'Agence) was very instrumental in allowing me to play the markets. At one time I had about 27 agencies worldwide where I was represented. It was the real deal before the onset of social media and wannabe models.

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JF:Of course, we must speak of your new product launch so let’s have it… why how and who… the whole story? 

CC: After getting burned out in the model biz and hating to fly in 2005 I began the brand XOC which was dedicated to limited edition men’s jewelry. I had hung out with Paris Hilton who I believe to be is more than  just  marketing savvy  but I’m prejudiced when is come to her!  
My XOC Jewelry line began in 2005 and was built with the helpful buzz of personal friends like Christopher Ciccone ( Madonna's brother ), Jerry Pennacoli from EXTRA TV, my buddy Adam Goldstein ( DJ AM ),  all of whom helped and supported my nascent endeavor. 
In 2010 an Italian Count (a personal friend) introduced me to a Prince, not the Purple Rain Prince but a real one, who bestowed two authentic certifiable titles of nobility upon me; Cory Bernstein was obviously not born a Euro blue blood. Nevertheless this made the titles inheritable; needless to say I was honored to receive them and graciously accepted! It was then that I decided to launch Count Cory XOC Skincare (2011). 

The titles were strictly used for branding purposes.  The first product to be launched was Count Cory collagen & vitamin wrinkle defense moisturizing creme. It is brimming with collagen and vitamins in addition to great antioxidants. The info on it is available at   (the product has a 5 star rating on Amazon). Again some celebrity friends tested it for me and from being on Mob Wives and Real Housewives and while working with various models and designers, the tweeting began; I will never forget those who stood beside to launch my products. 
Count Cory ® XOC Skincare is now augmenting the assortment to include its newest product, Count Cory ® INSTANT Face lift & Tightening Serum which is available on our website as well as on Amazon. It isn't a drastic pull but because of its innovative and abundant ingredients the serum works for day and night. Using myself as a test consumer, I saw my neck lines disappear within the first 10 days; the product is suitable for face, neck, upper thighs, hands and buttocks. Keep in mind that (the product is made in Europe since they allow higher proportions of the most active ingredients and all products are animal cruelty free. 
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JF:If you could invite any 5 people to dinner who would they be and why?
CC:Oh Jeffrey I don't love dinner parties! I am really mellow and so over the energy and effort but 5 people off the top of my head would be of course my Grandmother Betty Schwartz, and let’s also include Princess Diana, (whom I met at the Drake Hotel and got to speak with her briefly), maybe James Dean, Elizabeth Taylor and Gianni Versace. That would be a great group but being a Pisces, I always change my mind. 
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JF: If you could collaborate on any project of any kind with any one of your choice, who and what would it be and why?
CC: Oh Jeffrey, I cannot even think of just one project of any kind and with who!
It would be anything from developing a gigantic property for dog and cat rescue that leads to adoption and rehabilitation. A luxe animal paradise to save these amazing animals! Maybe Rick Hilton would help me, since this is all hypothetical, but I really do dream of having some sort of large property to help rescue and adopt pets in need of forever homes and adopted “parents.”
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JF: If you could rewrite the script of your life, what would you change and why? Any should’ves, would’ves could’ves? Might have beens? 
CC:I don't really grasp the concept or ideology of No Regrets; I can't wrap my head around that! Maybe I wish I could! Yes.  More should’ves, would'ves, and could'ves than I could remember. I would not have worried as much as I have about the future. Things do seem to follow cycles with me; I've been up,  I've been down and I have lived a pretty enviable life, compared to many,  but I always try to be better than the day before. Okay, I wouldn't have ever smoked. I should have taken advantage of a zillion opportunities but didn’t so all was meant to be as it happened. Tomorrow isn't promised, so I honestly don't take life super seriously as long as everybody I love and care about remain healthy and happy. I've a very simple way of looking at life even if I am Count Cory! Hahahahhhaaaha

Thank you for the opportunity and honor for this interview!

1 comment:

  1. What a fabulous piece about my friend and confidant, Count Cory! I am so proud of his accomplishments and hope for prosperity in the future. His skincare products work for me. My skin is dry, I live in Las Vegas, and his collagen cream has saved the day. I do wish it came with sunscreen, and I am thrilled about the new serum. Cheers 🥂