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On Thursday afternoon, Bergdorf Goodman will brace itself for an onslaught of truant fashion students.

Proenza Schouler’s Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez are set to make a personal appearance tomorrow at the retailer’s renovated handbag department. Key styles from the brand’s new Hava handbag collection will be available for customization there, with an artisan on hand to hand-whipstitch chain straps to shoppers’ liking.

The appearance is the latest strategic move by the label to push its reconceptualized accessories assortment. In June, Hernandez and McCollough told WWD that they aim to double Proenza Schouler’s accessories sales in the next two to three years.

An updated version of the brand’s core PS1 bag, the PS1+, is forthcoming in January.

“When we first started in the business we used to do a lot more of this kind of thing, have parties and whatnot but it’s become difficult to find the time. Now we want to work with really important partners of ours and support new product launches — things we feel strongly about,” Hernandez said by phone while stranded in Hydra amid a Grecian air strike kerfuffle.

The notoriously private designers have decided to appear for approximately 45 minutes at Bergdorf’s, where they expect a mix of “students, fashion fans and then the clients — sometimes they’re all of that and that’s the best client,” said Hernandez. While the event runs from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., the designers are expected to appear around 4 p.m.

An artisan will take residency at Bergdorf’s — employed to whipstitch Hava chain straps with leather lacing, per consumers’ choice of color and pattern. Hava top-handle bags will come with an interchangeable leather tassel. Each bag will take approximately 45 minutes to customize, with shoppers invited to wait or have their product messengered.

The four styles available for customization will range in price from $1,250 for the Hava chain cross body to $1,950 for the medium top handle Hava. These prices are consistent with retail values of typical shelf-stock styles.

“I think more than anything [consumers] want to hear your opinion of what looks good on them. They think of us as a go-to advice person, experts on the subject. We still get questions about what color is in this season,” said Hernandez.

“I think it’s interesting [for people] to meet the face behind the brand, I don’t think social media in any way replaces that experience. It gives you a broader audience, but there is something really special and unique to still be able to go to the store and meet designers and talk about the creative process, fostering a one-on-one relationship. I think people crave that kind of interaction in their lives right now, it feels very relevant.”

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