NEW YORK — Starting in June, Public School — led by Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne — will shift their runway presentations to align with the pre-collection calendar.
The designers now plan to show their women’s and men’s collections together on the runway twice a year, in December and June. The collections will be named Collection 1 (pre-spring and spring) and Collection 2 (pre-fall and fall).
“Showing twice a year with both men’s and women’s in one show will allow us to really develop our ideas cohesively throughout the year and subsequently slow the entire process down. We can actually enjoy our collections as opposed to being tied to the calendar,” Chow said. He noted that this move might not make their lives easier, but they will be more enjoyable.
“When we launched women’s it was always the extension of the men’s collections. It was a collection that our female friends could enjoy without altering the men’s pieces to wear. We feel the similar design approach made more of an impact when we showed men’s and women’s at the same time,” added Osborne.
The location of the shows will be revealed at a later date.
Osborne said he expects the move will align better with their responsibilities at DKNY, where the duo serve as creative directors.
“This also separates the time in between Public School and DKNY shows — which again emotionally is a lot to do two shows within three days with two teams. It really becomes a lot. Some other designers are able to do two shows, but they’re spaced out between different cities. For us to do two shows in the same city within three days apart was difficult,” Osborne said.
During fashion weeks in July and January for men’s and September and February for women’s, Public School will focus on consumer-facing activities, which could be a pop-up shop or a retail activity.
“We’re still thinking of other ways to really make that happen. That’s the fun part of figuring out how we touch the customer,” Osborne said.
Anthony Landereau, president of Public School, said “the objective is to always improve our performance and have the best sell-through, getting the goods early in the stores. It is also important for us to be mindful of how our different collections sit on the floor together. And having one common concept for collection one and collection two will certainly help our accounts build a more robust and visually impactful assortment.”
Landereau added that the best-performing collections have always been the pre-collections, which were always small and one delivery. “Enlarging this collection and making them more of a statement is pretty important for us. Showing men’s and women’s together was, for us, very natural. Women’s has always been an extension of men’s. Showing men’s a month before the normal calendar will enable us to have a better collection and better deliveries,” he said.
The designers aren’t planning a similar move for DKNY, nor are they considering in-season shows. Companies such as Burberry and Tom Ford are planning co-ed shows in-season, while Gucci is doing a co-ed show but “see-now-buy-later.”
“We’re doing what will work best for us. The thing is, nowadays, there are no rules. Each brand should do what makes sense for their business,” Chow said.