In the 11 years since design duo Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne launched Public School, the brand’s growth has withstood a Cinderella story of highs and lows: a co-sign (and eventual falling out) from Barneys NY, a proper relaunch in 2012 after establishing a refocused brand identity and an inevitable victory lap year in 2013 that resulted from winning the prestigious CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund. Now, with all the success the New York-based fashion empire has received over the past five years, Dao-Yi and Max bypass the typical Fashion Week rollout in favor of an actual exhibit – presenting the clothes in the form of art pieces that made for the ultimately cap-off to NYFW: Men’s.
The entire PSNY Exhibit was centered around linking the past and future to create something that supersedes time in general. Clothes that look so current and cutting-edge were actually made from recycled materials, as Dao-Yi told us exclusively when we caught up with both guys in between sips of Moët, who sponsored the drinks for the “fam, friends and press only” preview.
Here’s what Dao-Yi had to say about what went into creating the Public School Exhibit:
“The concept behind this show is the idea of establishing a record of permanence — being able to reference your own history and your own past to be able to do something for the future. Everything that we’re doing is a reference of where we’ve been and our experiences, then building upon that so that we can make it last longer than just the moment. Every piece in this collection is either using deadstock fabric or upcycled fabric; there’s no new fabric or trend at all. It’s about taking something that existed and making it new.”
— Dao-Yi Chow, Public School
Maxwell let his partner in style do most of the talking, adding on briefly to co-sign Dao-Yi’s perfect explanation by stating, “[The collection’s inspiration] is about the foundation [of PSNY’s brand history], and knowing the past as you go into your future.” The pieces themselves are top of the line, too, filled with collaborations with Levi’s, Alpha Industries, Eileen Fisher and even more Nike heat.
Lead Image: Keenan Higgins / The Source