For fashion designers who do one line incredibly well, the thought of expanding into other areas is always accompanied by a fear of falling short of expectations. Few brands become as well known for menswear as they are womenswear, for example, and accomplishing that in an incredibly short timespan is rarer still. Public School, which debuted with men's clothing in 2012 and showed its first women's line in February of this year, is a relative newcomer that somehow seems like it's always been a part of NYC's fashion fabric.
Founding designers Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne were both born in New York City, grew up within its boroughs, and they've created their lines in its likeness. They also give back by producing everything possible here at home; this indelible link to the city contributes to the heritage feel of their clothing. They deliver exactly what cool, urban men want to wear and have been rewarded with international recognition and accolades — they collected two CFDA awards in 2013 and a Woolmark prize this year.
As for their womenswear collection, success has been nearly instantaneous, and no less impressive. Since debuting it last year, they’ve received critical praise and commercial success, but they are still finding their groove within an already saturated market. Against the backdrop of their latest collection, resort 2015, I sat down with Chow and Osborne to hash out the difference between men and women from a fashion designer's point of view, blow the lid off their secret club, and quiz them on the kind of tough love their city needs.
Photographed by Eric T. White; Styled by Emily Holland; Modeled by Cat O'Brien at Wilhelmina; Set Design by Bryan Norvelle; Hair Styled by Hiro + Mari at Bryan Bantry; Makeup by Mari Shten at Artists by Timothy Priano