Proenza Schouler CEO Judd Crane, designers Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough | Photo: “It's like speed dating,” Hernandez adds. They're not only two of the most talented designers in the Naked City; they're a couple of real charmers, too. There's the headline: PROENZA SCHOULER MEET IN THE BACK ROOM. Lazaro Junior year we started dating. The Proenza Schouler boys have been the anointed ones, the real darlings of up -and-coming Note the date. Mark it . Like many designers, Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez talk a lot about trying to locate the "now.
What is it like having grown so much? Is there a lot more stress? If anything, the biggest stress these days are these pre-collections. They eat up so much of our time. Like, 90 percent of what you see. Why do you have to do these mini-collections? I think the pre-collections are about 60 percent of the business.
They ship a month to two months before the collection ships, but they go on sale the same time the collection goes on sale. Shows these days have become. The pre-collections are, like, ready-to-wear. The shows are more about creativity, or the purity of the brand. Pre-collections are more democratic.
So how do you deal with assigning tasks? Proenza Schouler is not just Jack and myself. There are so many designers who farm out their designs. Their stylists end up designing the collection, of course. We had some internships along the way, but we never really worked for anybody else. So we just kind of had to make up our process. Does the process change each season?
Proenza Schouler On Their 15 Years as a Couple and Their Hopes for the Brand - PAPER
What about the initial idea? That must be different each season: A piece of fabric or a painting. A photo or a dress you want to tweak. What is it generally for you? You mean in terms of the fabrics, the patterns, or the vibes?
Like our spring collection. We went to India and did all this research and found all these crazy neon colors, and these long saris. These ladies look so polished. We want to make something polished. So these random things slowly jump to something concrete. I remember those dresses based on Cy Twombly. That was ages ago. That was very Design It was Rothko and Twombly. I think we went to the Moma. That was before we could travel.
We were in an art phase. Like with last spring, we went to Tahiti and that inspired the underwater motif. We were in Bora Bora and had an underwater camera. We were snorkeling and just shooting pictures. How is that dictated? Usually every season, what we do is a complete reaction to the season we did before. So you never want to do another corset top. So your choices have nothing to do with sales?
What does she need? What does her closet lack? What has never crossed her mind?
Proenza Schouler On Their 15 Years as a Couple and Their Hopes for the Brand
I think the beginning part. The beginning and the end are always the most exciting. You have to find a middle ground? We have to find something in-between what we both want. We do gray because I like white or he likes black. But none of us really likes gray, in a weird, metaphorical way. Do you feel a healthy competitiveness with other designers? Everyone does something different. All the young designers now are doing something interesting.
There can be some crossover in places, absolutely. But for the most part, when people are doing well, they have their own thing going on. It just came out today! Because I was going to ask, what would have been your dream ad? But I guess you just created it. We just did our dream ad! Willy Vanderperre shot it. Melissa Tammerijn and Julia Nobis. Do you want to see?
But this is your own vision rather than turning it over to someone. We were looking at old David Hamilton photographs. I love David Hamilton. Speaking of accessories and footwear, I think you guys should make a practical boot for winter. We just did one! Because I see all these girls walking around and I was going to ask what you would recommend. Yeah, we can do a version.
Because I find your clothes more wearable than a lot of other designers. We find that interesting.
We develop all of our fabrics from scratch. You can do anything lately. You always go back to fluorescents. We were just bright and happy people. I think all those colors are super-nostalgic of our childhood. I want to see you incorporate more Grateful Dead styles.
Or even more ethnic, Guatemalan-type things.
We just came from the Southwest. We did a day road trip. The next show will be based on this trip we took. You just got in a car and drove around? We went to Wyoming; we went to Yellowstone. How do you take these long trips when you have all these pre-collections? We gotta do it. People say New York is really inspiring and stuff, but for us, New York is a place to get shit done.
Leaving the city and exploring things outside of the city is really inspiring.Designers Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough on Proenza Schouler Fall 2016 (+ Natasha Lyonne!)
We go upstate and sketch these collections. There are no phones ringing. Now I have time off. Then you get busy with other movies. Although me and Natasha [Lyonne] were thinking of going to Machu Picchu.
I would love to go to Machu Picchu. The biggest life-changing trips for me have been when I almost lost my life. Like my brother and I went on a sailing trip and I almost died. Or we went camping and I almost got stuck on the mountain.
What did Paul sing? That's what I want to know. Paul would just stand there with a cocktail and not talk to anyone. So much of starting your own thing is chance, and luck So how does the design process work for you guys? It's still just the two of us. The shows are just the two of us. We draw every single look. It's kind of the way we did it at school. It's that same process. We follow through from the beginning to the very end. We fit everything ourselves.
We never really worked for anyone else, so we use the system we used at Parsons as our point of reference. And I guess that worked! And we work all the fucking time.
I don't understand how we would do the transcontinental thing of working for another house.
Proenza Schouler - Interview Magazine
I just don't know time-wise how we would do it. Something would have to go. We would have to sacrifice something. Also, not a lot of people have proven they can do two fashion labels simultaneously.
I don't think anyone except for Marc [Jacobs] has done two things successfully. And that definitely took a toll on Marc. Whenever we've been asked to do it, we were like, What's the point? We enjoy our lives and we have each other. It seems to me that there's a feeling of luxury that is a little less snobbish nowadays. What do you think of that? Do you feel like luxury has changed?