Heads up! Proenza Schouler’s Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez are interviewed in the March 2011 issue of Interview magazine, and who better to interview the two than one of their most frequent clients, Chloë Sevigny? The (terrific) full article under the cut, courtesy of InterviewMagazine.com.
By CHLOË SEVIGNY
It has been nearly nine years since Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez-both 23 and fresh out of design school at Parsons The New School for Design, where they met and worked together as classmates-set up a womenswear label incorporating their mothers’ maiden names. Their almost instantaneous rise through the realms of the fashion world as Proenza Schouler-seemingly so unscripted that they hardly had a business model when they began-is the stuff of lightning New York success stories.
In the early 2000s, with many of the city’s top designers either retiring or fading out, the hunt was on for fresh, untapped talent, and Proenza Schouler had plenty of it. But as the decade wore on, something exquisite happened: The design duo wasn’t merely filling some vacant fashion niche. McCollough and Hernandez were creating a fully articulated, utterly unexpected sense of style for a young, urban, 21st-century woman. The designers referenced the past with certain shapes and layers-grunge, the 1960s-but didn’t get stuck in it. This woman walked with a street-tough, masculine gait. She was almost a veteran of raves and goth clubs, but was still new in the city and up for going out.
Proenza Schouler have become masters of precise, militaristic silhouettes that allow for radical plays of color and texture. The hues and prints are electric, the fabrics veer from thick and aggressive to fragile and surprisingly soft. For their Spring 2011 collection, they continued their evolution but added a feminine polish that suggested this art girl of their dreams could also be competent enough to be serious and dependable-an acid-house mix of knits, tweeds, and chiffon.
Now both 32, McCollough and Hernandez should finally be set free from their depiction as upstart fashion kids taking on the establishment. They’ve graduated to become the leaders of the charge. Still a couple, in and out of the studio, the two spend as much time in New York these days as they do either traveling for inspiration or hiding out upstate on their farm. Unsurprisingly, one of their favorite women to dress is Chloë Sevigny, who just returned to New York after wrapping the final season of Big Love and visited the guys in their studio in SoHo. But before any questions on life as designers, she wanted the lowdown on how Jojo, Hernandez’s miniature Pinscher, briefly went missing, only to have Sevigny come to the rescue, 2,000 miles away.
CHLOË SEVIGNY: I want to hear the crazy story about you losing your dog.
LAZARO HERNANDEZ: It’s actually an amazing story. I was here alone, eight o’clock at night. I had my bags. I was going to Italy the next morning. I grabbed my dog and my bags and I’m waiting for the elevator but it doesn’t come. It’s taking forever so I’m like, “Fuck. What’s going on?” And I had to take a piss. So I run to the bathroom to pee, and I come back to the front, and the dog is gone. I have no idea where he is. I’m like, “He must have taken the elevator. He must be in the lobby.”
SEVIGNY: He just pressed the button.
HERNANDEZ: I press the elevator again. It takes another 10 minutes for it to come. The elevator door opens. It’s packed, packed, packed with people-Dan [Colen] and Nate [Lowman].
SEVIGNY: All the art stars.