Proenza Schouler designer celebrates 20th anniversary

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Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez. Photo credit: Proenza Schouler

“In many ways it still feels like day one, and I also feel like it could all go away.”

What happens when the new kids on the block are no longer new? That’s something Proenza Schouler’s Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandex are still trying to figure out. fashion We spoke to the designer duo about past and future, and what the brand’s 20th anniversary means to them.

Happy 20th Anniversary to Proenza Schouler. How do you both feel about landmarks?

Lazarus Hernandez: “In many ways it still feels like day one, and it all feels like it could all go away. We are always looking to get better, learn and evolve. ”

Jack McCollough: “It’s pretty surreal! Sometimes we’re our own worst enemy because we never look back. We like to analyze and destroy everything that hits the runway.”

The model wears a white floral dress by Proenza Schouler, which was released in the spring of 2023.
Proenza Schouler Prespring 2023. Photo: Bruno Staub

You started working together while studying at Parsons The New School in New York City.

JM: “Yeah. By fourth grade, we were doing our own thing at school. The program in fashion design was pretty solid, so we would take turns working overnight at each other’s houses. But together, As we spent a lot of time on , our aesthetics and ideas began to mix, and in our final years, we said, “It might be best to collaborate instead of competing with each other on the thesis collection.”

Famously, former senior vice presidents and fashion directors of Barneys New York, Julie Gilhart and Anna Wintour, were early champions of the Proenza School. Do you maintain that relationship over the years?

JM: “At first, we really didn’t know what we were doing. [laughs], but there have been many wonderful mentors who have really helped guide us. Julie supported us and she was always our cheerleader. ”

left: “And Anna is a good friend of ours. She has always been very supportive and like family to us.”

The model wears a mustard jacket and carries a Proenza Schouler bag, released spring 2023
Proenza Schouler Prespring 2023. Photo: Bruno Staub

In the late 2000s, the PS1 bag became a must-have accessory. Why do you think it resonated with so many people?

JM: “I think all the bags back then were structured around logos. The PS1 is a simplified bag.

left: “Also, the right person was carrying that bag. It could have been Mary-Kate Olsen first, then Rihanna. It was on, too.” gossip girl

JM: “It was released when we only had ready-to-wear collections, and everything leveled up considerably. We were able to get one, and I think we were able to cover a wider area.”

Earlier this year you said business of fashion: “In the old days, editors and stylist friends used to make clothes they wanted to shoot. Now we make clothes they want to wear.” Can you expand on that?

left: “Before, I used to design based on what I thought was cool and new, but I didn’t think about women’s actual needs. [laughs], but that was not our approach. These days, I’m taking notes from my previous work and making more “real” clothes that feel more modern. And business is doing well because we’re actually making things that people want to buy. ”

The model wears a white jacket, black skirt and black bag by Proenza Schouler, which was released in the spring of 2023.
Proenza Schouler Prespring 2023. Photo: Bruno Staub

How do you stay inspired after creating countless collections?

JM: “The fashion game is relentless, so it was nice to slow down during the pandemic. We spent five months on our farm in western Massachusetts. We’ve both dived into other creative outlets that we’ve always been interested in but had little time to get involved with before.” [McCollough learned how to play the guitar, while Hernandez learned photography.]

left: “We have been doing shows for nearly 20 years, so it was also nice to present the collection in a different way. It was cool to explore new media and design with a different intent.”

What next for brands?

left: “2023 Pre-Spring Collection! We use our Pre-Collection as a kind of laboratory for ideas. We focus on solid wearable clothing and accessories that bring joy and function to our customers’ lives. But we’re starting to play around with ideas, silhouettes and fabrics that we might find on the main season runway shows.”

This article first appeared on fashions October issue. Please check this out for details.

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