Spotlight on: Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez for Proenza Schouler, Nominees for Womenswear Designer of the Year and Accessory Designer of the Year

Proenza Schouler

2011 Nominee for:
ACCESSORY DESIGNER OF THE YEAR
WOMENSWEAR DESIGNER OF THE YEAR

Past Honors:
Winner, 2004 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund
Winner, 2007 Womenswear Designer of the Year

Biography

The duo of Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez met while students at Parsons School of Design and collaborated on their senior thesis, which became their first collection, bought in its entirety by Barneys New York. Their label, which takes its name from their mothers’ maiden names, is known for its tailoring, its unique, custom developed fabrics and its sense of refined ease. In addition to ready-to-wear, Proenza Schouler is known for its accessories, specifically shoes and the PS1 bag, a classic satchel that has become the duo’s signature.

Four Questions

What were you doing when you heard about your award?
“We were actually on a plane heading back home when they were announced. As soon as we landed, our phones starting going off with everyone calling to congratulate us. It was definitely a nice way to come home.

What career did you want when you were 16? If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?

“When we were 16 one of us wanted to be a glass blower, the other, a doctor. We were on totally different paths and somehow managed to find each other in the middle. Things have a funny way of working out.”

Who is your fashion idol? Whose work do you admire?
“We’ve always admired the mid-century couturiers. The Christian Diors and Schiaparelli’s of the world. Something about that level of craft and execution is so romantic to us. In our own way, they are a constant reference in the work we do.”

Who is your biggest fan?
“Our moms, after who the company is named, still think we can do no wrong, even though we like to remind them that we often are, indeed, wrong.”

Photo credit: Norman Jean Roy