Proenza Schouler Wants You To Piss People Off

Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez know their brand backwards and forwards. That's why when the heads of Proenza Schouler gave advice on how to stay true to your brand and making waves in fashion, we should listen. The talented and sage duo, well known by the fashionable set for their modern and unique designs, spoke with Vogue's Sally Stringer at the French Institute Alliance Française about their aesthetic and how to stand out from the fashion crowd.

During their talk with Stringer, McCollough and Hernandez opened up about their fall collection's inspiration, telling Vogue that their starting point was the gorgeous paintings of Helen Frankenthaler, whose works were created by allowing thinned painted to drip down canvas and dry, leaving the end result up to happenstance. The pair states:

"That freedom was so inspiring to us, so we kind of approached the collection in that way—let’s just see what happens—so we bought fabric, and cut and left things raw, and at the fittings we’d just cut hems, and we weren’t precious at all with some of the collection."

The end result was, without a doubt, gorgeous, and the pair admitted that standing out from the crowd was a requirement in such a saturated market. The duo explains that you, "have to make a bit of noise," on the runway and that pissing people off isn't necessarily a bad thing. The pair's commitment to their aesthetic didn't exactly make them the most popular students at Parsons— where they met and began the brand. However, their views serve as valuable advice to new designers, some who may still be at Parsons much like McCollough and Hernandez were.

Despite the early criticism, Hernandez and McCollough have stuck to their guns. While they have been approached by European houses, they've declined the opportunities and placed Proenza Schouler at the top of their lists of priorities. I've got to say, I love the pair's insistence on staying true to who they are and encouraging other young designers to do the same. It's refreshing to see innovative designers like Hernandez and McCollough remain fresh and creative as opposed to caving to pressure to blend in with other brands.

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