Proenza Schouler wunderkinds Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez are aiming to expand their modern luxury label. The duo, whose hats made a splash on the spring 2008 runway, is moving away from the usual four-plus-inch heels they send down the catwalks to roll out more pedestrian-friendly shoes and dipping into handbag design in the near future. Here, the twosome dish on fashion, feuding and the perks of being the boss.
WWD: The hats you showed for spring garnered tons of attention. What were you going for? Lazaro Hernandez: They incorporated the central motif of feathers in the collection, which was the element that bridged the gap between the more put-together looks of a colonial slant and the more tribal elements that happened at the end of the show. The silhouette needed an element of exaggerated height, and the hats completed this look.
WWD: Your shows are so polished, do you two ever clash behind the scenes? L.H.: All the time. It makes the collection stronger. I’ll be thinking blue, Jack will be thinking red, and then somehow it comes out purple. That’s the fun part—combining those two worlds.
WWD: You’ve sent your shoes down the runway in past seasons. Why expand your offering now? L.H.: Footwear has gone off the deep end in a really good way. It’s been an ongoing process for us and, little by little, we’re extending it.
WWD: Which shoe gods do you admire? Jack McCollough: Pierre Hardy and definitely Christian Louboutin—how genius is that red sole? It’s important to find a signature like that.
WWD: What’s the best fashion advice you’ve been given? L.H.: To be yourself and don’t follow trends. J.M.: And we never want to be too much of any one thing.
WWD: What other projects are brewing? L.H.: We’re excited for handbags. That’s our next big thing. J.M.: Expanding at retail will be another big feat.
WWD: What’s the best part of what you do? L.H.: Not having to answer to anyone. I can’t imagine being told where to go creatively.
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