Back to School
New York urban fashion label, Public School, showcased their Pre-Fall 2016 collection in Dubai last week. The show, held at D3, was in partnership with Cadillac, as they unveiled their luxury crossover model XT5. We sat down for a chat with the designers before show time.
Sitting in their temporary workspace at the Media One hotel, the design duo behind the brand, Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne displayed an interesting juxtaposition of broad white smiles with all black attire. The monochromatic pallet is one they have mastered with their brand, using it as a platform to “stand out while fitting in, in a way”. It’s an interesting connection to the name Public School, sharing a sort of uniform idea presented in its own way.
“Cadillac work hard on their cars and us with our clothes – the ideas of new luxury fitted together and there were a lot of parallels. It just feels cohesive.”
For both of the designers, it’s their first time in Dubai. “We love seeing the world. We normally travel for work or meetings, so to do something somewhere new is so exiting,” explains Chow. It’s a concept they both share with work and with travel, as they’ve also recently introducing womenswear to their celebrated roster. “It stemmed from our menswear – taking the same aspirations and moving them across,” continues Osborne.
The men’s aspirations are built from a strong fashion CV, between them spending previous time at Sean John, Tommy Hilfiger and designing in hose for a boutique in Miami. They continue to learn from each other, Chow citing his partner’s patience as something he admires. That patience shines through in the brand, with its original inception being in 2008, but really taking off in 2012 with help from the CFDA fashion incubator, something they are both still thankful for. “It was everything,” says Osbourne. “So much of our brand is about community and that’s what they are. They played a huge role.”
Since 2012 Public School has gone from strength to strength, working on a range of lauded collaborations and winning the Woolmark prize along the way. The current Dubai destination show came about following the brands long time working relationship with Cadillac – in their own words; “They’ve supported us for ages,” says Chow. “They asked if we would partner up with our shared vision of design ideals. They work hard on their cars and us with our clothes – the ideas of new luxury fitted together and there were a lot of parallels. It just feels cohesive.”
Looking forward, the brand shows no signs of slowing down. They dream of working with Apple, again sharing the design ideals seen throughout their work, the ideals that will be seen again in their upcoming Jordan collaboration with Nike set for release next month. Being workaholics, and seeing their eyes dart back towards the work they still have to do before they leave the city, we end on three things they would tell the 2008 versions of themselves. “Believe in yourself. Stick to your point of view, and don’t be pressured by other peoples expectations,” concludes Chow.’ They share a knowing nod, and it’s back to work.