Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough stretched their hot streak to 10 years in 2012. This season's fall Proenza Schouler collection debuted to the same sort of adulation as their first in 2002, ordered in its entirety by Barneys New York when the designers were still students at Parsons.
But the wunderkinds behind the label (a combination of their mothers' maiden names) didn't exactly shout their milestone from the Himalayan mountaintops that influenced the oversize and quilted silhouettes the critics applauded. "People still consider us the young ones," Hernandez said. "We'll take it."
They still look it, although their success has bought them a farm in the Berkshires, to which they retreat as much as possible — though not to relax. "We're chronically productive," Hernandez said. McCollough describes them sitting on either end of the farm table drawing for hours, then cooking a meal entirely from their property's produce.
Last month, they opened a Madison Avenue store; a second Manhattan shop is on the way. They're introducing denim and jewelry and expanding their handbag range. They traveled to Chicago this summer at the invitation of Ikram Goldman, one of the first shop owners to buy the collection.
After each major runway show, Hernandez and McCollough take a trip "to regroup and recoup and hopefully find inspiration," McCollough said. "We're big adventurers," Hernandez said. "We like to strap on a backpack and go see the world. Then we bring the outside world in."
Finding inspiration... and a few favorites
Lazaro: Newer bands like Girls.
Jack: John Phillips from The Mamas and the Papas.
Travels around Bhutan led to fall's subplot of protection, with silhouettes and fabrics informed by mountaineering and martial arts. A basket that caught their eye triggered experiments with woven leather.
Jack: Gerhard Richter. His work is all so different yet it still feels like it's from the same person. That's what we strive for.
Jack: The farm. It's so giving.
Lazaro: The older we get, the less interested we are in cities and more in gardening and space.
Jack: Gray Levi's jeans.
Lazaro: Diner in Brooklyn.
Jack: Marlow & Sons in Brooklyn.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun