“It was fun!” exclaimed Lazaro Hernandez, one half of the Proenza Schouler design team, of the fashion brand’s collaboration with Lancôme on a limited-edition makeup collection that’s launching starting this month.
“In terms of the color, we were looking a lot at artists like Ellsworth Kelly, James Turrell and Carmen Herrera. We like the idea of bringing this stronger, graphic color in,” continued Jack McCollough, Proenza Schouler’s other artistic director.
The duo was sitting in the courtyard of the Perrotin gallery in the Marais neighborhood of Paris, where a launch party for the color cosmetics capsule took place Tuesday night. Aficionados of both brands — Liv Tyler, Lauren Santo Domingo, Mandy Moore, Betony Vernon and Chiara Ferragni included — sipped Champagne and took in tunes mixed by DJs Honey Dijon and Emmanuel Caurel.
“For the beauty looks we do in our shows, it is always a bit more stripped back,” said McCollough. “But since this is a standalone beauty collection, it is a little bit more playful, a little more free.”
For product packaging, they opted to zoom in on a segment of the signature Lancôme rose. “It was interesting to use their codes but really abstract them,” said Hernandez.
Some favorite products? “I am always a fan of a red lip at the end of the day, and we did this really great tomato-y-red lipstick,” said McCollough.
Hernandez highlighted a palette chockablock with colors. “You can use it on the eyes, the lip,” he said. “It is sort of multifunctional, and for us it is just like an artist palette. It is like a kit to play around with, encouraging freedom and experiments.”
The project with Proenza Schouler is the latest of a number done with fashion brands for the L’Oréal-owned beauty label.
“When we collaborated with Alber Elbaz or Sonia Rykiel, it was about shared values: With Elbaz it was shared happiness. With Sonia Rykiel, shared values of Frenchness. The collaboration with Proenza is kind of an evolution, and we will go even further next year,” explained Françoise Lehmann, general manager of Lancôme International. “It’s an evolution because the universe of Proenza is very different from the one of Lancôme.”
Still, she described the fashion brand’s graphic and design elements as a good fit. “We are evolving toward collaborations which are complementary to us,” Lehmann said, adding fashion folk-related tie-ins “open our universe.”
Though Hernandez and McCollough were back in Paris, they don’t have misgivings for not still showing in the City of Light. “For us, it always was a temporary thing,” said Hernandez. “It was exciting for us to come to Paris for a year. We had so much fun doing it. But you know, I think New York misses us. Our friends missed us.”
“We are living in a day and age where things can be way more fluid than they used to be. Like we’re going back to New York, but it’s not to say that we won’t go somewhere else two seasons after that,” said McCollough. “Come back here, go to London — or wherever. I think everything lives online these days anyway. It kind of doesn’t really matter where you show. There is more freedom to be a bit more loose with where you show, how you show, when you show. So we’re just trying to be a bit more free with it.”
Meanwhile, the White Label, Proenza Schouler’s more democratic line with clothes for everyday wear that’s in its third season, is selling well. “It’s like the fastest-growing individual business right now,” said Hernandez.
With Proenza Schouler’s September show looming large, the designers won’t have much downtime this summer. But an upside to that is a break following New York Fashion Week is possible. “You get to go to all these places there are no tourists,” said McCollough, taking the glass half-full view.
“September is so beautiful,” mused Hernandez. “It is much more beautiful than August.”