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Advice From Designers At Proenza Schouler: Don’t Be Afraid to Piss People Off

MTI5NTIzNDEzODM5NTcyOTYyLazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough are seasoned in the landscape of luxury womenswear and accessories since launching the Proenza Schouler label in 2002. The two met at Parsons as design students and have been consistently lauded season after season since debuting their senior thesis collection at the school. The brand is defined by modernity, and has retained an empowered sense of edge for the everday woman’s wardrobe. The designers say that despite the many facets of the Proenza woman that have been presented over the years, “She’s interested in today. Today changes, so does what the collection is about.”

The couple spoke last week with Vogue’s Sally Singer at the French Institute Alliance Française and discussed their Fall 2015 line, which involved taking huge risks with construction in terms of leaving edges frayed and raw to create a more visceral vibe. The two explained how agitated they made professors at Parsons with their penchant for producing more masterful pieces as opposed to practical separates during their school days. But it is what has defined their edge as designers, and the two admit, “It’s nice to have that freedom and to not really have a boss—we’re our own bosses.”

But one thing Hernandez and McCollough emphasized is the vitality of originality and making a statement. According to, McCollough said, “It’s hard to be subtle on the runway. You have to make a little bit of noise these days to be heard.” Hernandez reiterated the sentiment, smiling, “It’s always good to piss some people off. And that’s something that we learned early on.”

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