156 posts tagged "Proenza Schouler"
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5. Proenza Schouler
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So much for slow August news days. Today’s WWD is reporting that LVMH is said to be eyeing a minority stake in Proenza Schouler, the New York label founded by Parsons grads Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough in 2002. The Proenza show, scheduled this season for September 10, is always one of the buzziest on the New York schedule, but this announcement will keep people talking all week long. LVMH and its rival Kering have been zeroing in on hot young designers lately. Alexander Wang landed at Kering’s Balenciaga in late 2012, and the company made a minority investment in Joseph Altuzarra’s burgeoning business last year. Christopher Kane is also in the Kering fold. Should the LVMH deal happen, Hernandez and McCollough would join recent recruits J.W. Anderson, now at Loewe, and shoe designer Nicholas Kirkwood in Bernard Arnault’s growing luxury empire.
Why should we care?
A minority stake in Proenza Schouler’s business would potentially secure Hernandez and McCollough for future posts at LVMH should any of its current star designers leave their posts. I could see Lazaro and Jack in Paris, but my first thought is I hope it doesn’t play out that way. In a four-collections-a-year system, managing two huge brands is more than a designer can handle successfully. Yes, there are two designers in this case, but with all the international travel now required of creative directors, not to mention the other duties required of the face of a brand, it just seems untenable to me. Sure, Karl Lagerfeld does it at Chanel and Fendi, but with Hermès nominating Nadège Vanhee to replace Christophe Lemaire, who had been dividing his time between Hermès and his own label, doing double duty doesn’t seem to be the way the industry is moving.
More likely, Arnault and co. see the value in building up the Proenza Schouler brand. And lucky for them. When Nicolas Ghesquière left Balenciaga, he seemed like an obvious candidate for investment. He had the talent and the name recognition. But at the time, it was said that launching a brand from the ground up was prohibitively expensive, as in eight-figures expensive. (Ghesquière, of course, landed firmly on his feet at Vuitton, Arnault’s crown jewel.) Hernandez and McCollough have been around for 12 years and have used the 40 percent stake Andrew Rosen and John Howard made in their business (acquired from the Valentino Group) to their advantage, opening two Manhattan stores in the last two years and really digging into their accessories business.
Timing, as they say, is everything.
Each week, renowned artist and fashion illustrator Cédric Rivrain unveils an exclusive drawing on Style.com. See fashion through his eyes, below.
Alana Zimmer in Proenza Schouler
“An azurée adventure for a winter surfer with Proenza Schouler’s architectural patchwork dress.”—Cédric Rivrain
Illustration: Cédric Rivrain
“There’s always a mixed response in emotion,” explained CFDA CEO Steven Kolb. “A few cried, a few screamed, and one brand was a bit too cool…they admitted that they were just shocked. But they’re so excited tonight.” Kolb was talking about his experience calling the 2014 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalists to give them the good news yesterday morning, an honor that is reserved for him after he and the likes of Diane von Furstenberg, Marcus Wainwright and David Neville of Rag & Bone, Jenna Lyons, and others select the ten finalists for the year’s competition. Past winners include Altuzarra, Alexander Wang, Proenza Schouler, and last year’s Public School, who announced the ten new finalists last night at the still-under-construction Westfield World Trade Center (hard hats were given out as parting gifts).
“It’s been a hell of a year for us—we’re still riding it and we’re still excited from winning Vogue Fashion Fund last year,” Public School’s Maxwell Osborne told Style.com. “This is a whole new feeling for us, because we’re just so young and still trying to learn and grow ourselves and already passing off the torch. It feels really good—it means there’s going to be more of a future to come.”
That bright future includes finalists Paul Andrew; milliner Gigi Burris; Simon Miller’s Daniel Corrigan and Jake Sargent; Edie Parker’s Brett Heyman; Eva Fehren’s Eva Zuckerman; Wes Gordon; Tanya Taylor; Ryan Roche; Grey Ant’s Natalie Levy and Grant Krajecki; and Orley‘s Matthew Orley, Alex Orley, and Samantha Florence. Each brand will design a special runway collection under the advisement of the CFDA committee before the winner is selected on November 3.
The feeling among the group seemed to be one of anxious excitement. “It’s been a really long process, a long process of self-reflection,” said Alex Orley of Orley. “Today, we sort of were waiting with bated breath for a call, and Steven called us, and I think I just went white. I’m very excited—nervous, but just really excited.” Wes Gordon agreed: “So exciting! Steven called today and kind of tricked me a little bit—he said it like he was calling with bad news. It’s just such a thrill. I’m already so stressed and scared! In two weeks we have to do our big meeting with the judges. It’s like, ‘Boom! It’s here!’”
“The name comes from the idea that we all have a sexual résumé,” explained Christina Viviani, the designer behind Curriculum Vitae, a new lingerie line launching this Thursday at Barneys, with arrivals at Colette, 10 Corso Como, Moda Operandi, and more to follow. The Detroit-raised designer spent ten years polishing her skills at Donna Karan and Adrienne Vittadini before moving into the realm of intimates last year. “No one was really doing a cooler, younger version of Kiki,” she explained. “I’m dressing for myself and designing for myself—for the downtown girl.”
The line is made up of New York-manufactured below-14th basics: street-influenced racer tanks in black silk with matching silk boxers; simple mesh bikini bottoms; and sheer, white-lace onesies with materials sourced from Italy and Japan. An exclusive first look at the collection, which is priced between $30 and $400 debuts here. “We use a lot of rose-gold hardware, bodysuits with a snap, sleep sets with cutouts on the back…They’re kind of luxury-quality essentials,” noted Viviani of the clean, Bowery-with-a-hint-of-vamp wares. They’re for a girl “with more of an edge—she’s wearing [the line] with her Alexander Wang, with Proenza,” said the designer.
That’s not to say the pieces don’t hold classic appeal. “I’m really inspired by a lot of vintage references and the way construction was made back then. I want to take that and make it modern,” said Viviani, who grew up watching black-and-white favorites (“The movie Pillow Talk with Doris Day was a really big thing”) with her grandparents before moving to New York to study at FIT at 17.
CV also has a lifestyle component: Viviani traveled the world meeting with high-end sex toy artisans before curating a collection of globally sourced and personally designed sex accessories. “That was really fun—and a big learning curve,” said Viviani, who touched down in Berlin, L.A., Las Vegas, and San Francisco on the way. “Meeting different people and learning the art behind sensuality—you go into these conventions at 9 a.m. and it’s like, be awake!” CV will sell toys on its site, as well as discreet (you could hardly tell what they were if you didn’t look twice) pleasure kits in the rooms of the Chateau Marmont, Standard Hotels, and the Mercer, among others. “Three condoms, lube, and a vibrator…that’s all you really need in a hotel room. Let’s be honest,” she joked.
“I think I’m just excited for it to launch and kind of understand the customer more and see the reaction,” mused Viviani. “It’s kind of like being an artist and showing your work in a gallery for the first time.”