Over 20 years ago, two talented and eager Parsons School of Design students, Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, joined forces to collaborate on their senior thesis—the first of many collections they would be designing for the modern woman. The pair utilized a combination of their mothers’ maiden names to create Proenza Schouler, which is now synonymous with strong silhouettes, luxe fabrics, and timeless appeal. While introducing the Spring 2020 Collection to the women of Saks Fifth Avenue in San Francisco, McCollough and Hernandez opened up about partnership, Birkenstocks, and what we can expect for spring.
Emily Heitmann: After almost 20 years together, as a brand, what do you think is the most important piece in the partnership puzzle?
Jack McCollough: We’re two people with often differing ideas and concepts. And we like the dichotomy generated from this—the push and pull, the tension of equal and opposing forces. The result usually is something new that pushes both of us forward.
Lazaro Hernandez: There’s a certain creative tension produced when it’s two people creating, as opposed to one. We think the results are more compelling and are always pushing us both beyond our creative boundaries.
Walk us through the thought process behind the spring collection.
LH: We wanted to keep the strength and urbanity of previous seasons, but with newfound elements of softness and flow. We went through a lot of experimentation in the studio and kind of allowed ourselves to dream and let go.
JM: There’s quite a lot that goes into each collection. From what we think about initially—artists and exhibitions we’ve seen, decades—to the overall energy we want to create. It’s important for us to give the clothes fresh energy and a true feeling. But we always go back to our woman—she is, after all, who we are creating for.
And your upcoming collaboration with Birkenstock is so exciting! How did this come into fruition?
JM: Birkenstocks are iconic and we have a long personal history wearing them, of course. Collaborating with them was such a great opportunity and we think it is a perfect embodiment of both our brands—with a big focus on craftsmanship.
To view the latest Proenza Schouler Spring 2020 collection, visit Saks Fifth Avenue in San Francisco.