Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez have experienced major plaudits and serious reckonings in their trajectory at Proenza Schouler. Now, once again fully committed to New York as their show city as well as their base, they are clarifying the parameters of their fashion business and ethos for their customers and for themselves.
“The brands that are working today are the brands that have a consistent voice,” Hernandez said during a resort presentation at their showroom. “That’s how you build your audience and a customer base. It’s about consistency.”
He and McCollough acknowledged that in the past they jumped around, exploring disparate ideas from one season to the next, blurring the brand’s identity. And they became too fascinated with couture finishings which, while exquisite, are, from a bottom-line perspective, unrealistic to translate to production.
Now, the designers are focused on identifying their customer and playing to her wardrobe needs, plain and simple. They’re hyperfocused on who she is, “that strong intelligent urban woman, and creating staples, essentials for her closet,” McCollough said. “We’re focused on real, everyday dressing for her.” Fashion is a part of her life, but it’s not her whole. “This is about dressing those women for their lives. There’s such a beauty of that,” he said.
That came through clearly in the collection — a smart, polished lineup rooted in tailoring. An Eighties vibe, obvious but not obnoxious, ran in some quite demonstrative silhouettes. The tailoring was bold-shouldered and strong, with interesting detailing. Case in point: an oversize khaki jacket with a half-scarf lapel over trousers with two belts. Waist-centric dresses and skirt looks, often cinched with deep leather corset belts, projected similar confidence. Throughout, the designers played with classics, constructing a terrific trench with sections of khaki and glen plaid. Reworking their complicated constructions, they wrapped and twisted leather, crafted tricolor pleats for sequins and offered interludes of softness in dresses, including a billowing reverse-seamed black caftan with white outlines and a sweater-knit beauty over a printed underskirt.
Real, interesting clothes for real, interesting women. Sounds like a plan, and for resort, a very chic one.