Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
The March issue of Interview magazine—which hits newsstands March 1st—features an interview with Proenza Schouler, as conducted by their good friend and client Chloe Sevigny. They talk about stuff like competing with other young designers:
Chloe: Do you feel a healthy competitiveness with other designers?Aw, they're so nice. We've got some more key moments transcribed for your afternoon reading pleasure after the jump.
Chloe: Because I love going to parties with you guys and you are friends with Joseph [Altuzzara] and Alex [Wang] and everyone’s all pal-sy. For me, as an actress, I could be like, “Please—She got that role? I’m so jealous.”
Lazaro: I think in the very beginning when we were trying to break through, we reacted to people who had already broken through a bit with something like, “I hate him!” But now we feel more like there’s room for everyone. Everyone does something different. All the young designers now are doing something interesting.
On picking the name Proenza Schouler for their company:
Jack: The whole reason why we even picked that name in the first place was that when we started, Barneys had just bought our collection and we didn’t have a name. We thought, Hernandez McCollough? Doesn’t sound so high end, does it?On keeping their business in the family:
Lazaro: Proenza Schouler is better. I actually regret it.
Jack: Yeah. One of our biggest regrets is the name of our company.
Jack: It could get messy. But you know, all relationships can potentially get really messy.On doing shows vs pre-collections:
Lazaro: Like Jack and I could break up and then what would happen? Hmm.
Jack: Whoa! What are you insinuating? I don’t need you.
Lazaro: Those are all ifs. You gotta just...
Jack: ... move forward.
Lazaro: The shows are more about creativity, or the purity of the brand. For us it’s a creative exercise. It’s more extreme. Pre-collections are more democratic.On the process of creating the clothes:
Jack: We’re always curious about other people’s processes because we started straight out of school. We had some internships along the way, but we never really worked for anybody else. So we just kind of had to make up our process.On inspiration:
Lazaro: Travel.On playing with different silhouettes:
Chloe: Travel? You mean in terms of the fabrics, the patterns, or the vibes?
Lazaro: Vibes! Vibes! Like our spring collection. We went to India and did all this research and found all these crazy neon colors, and these long saris. We didn’t do an Indian collection, but we saw something completely foreign to us, and we took the abstract elements of color, length, the idea of wrap- ping, this femininity. These ladies look so polished. We want to make something polished. So these random things slowly jump to something concrete.
Jack: Our strongest collections take many abstract ideas and bring them together in a way that hopefully doesn’t look specifically like one thing—or something thematic.
Chloe: I’ve noticed that from collection to collection, you flip back and forth between a girly silhouette and a more ladylike polish. How is that dictated?On editing a collection to create Proenza Schouler:
Jack: That’s us being totally schizophrenic. Usually every season, what we do is a complete reaction to the season we did before.
Chloe: What about editing?On their Fall/Winter 2011 collection:
Jack: That’s where a stylist is the most beneficial, when it’s like this...
Lazaro: ... tie-breaker. But what’s cool about us, if I want black and Jack wants white, we won’t do either. We’ll do gray.
Chloe: You have to find a middle ground?
Lazaro: We have to find something in-between what we both want. It’s hard. But Proenza Schouler wouldn’t look the way it does if it were me by myself or Jack by himself. We do gray because I like white or he likes black. But none of us really likes gray, in a weird, metaphorical way.
Jack: We’re exploring Liberty prints, but a different take on them.· Proenza Schouler by Chloe Sevigny [Interview]
Lazaro: They’re all based on these blankets that we found. We just came from the Southwest.
Jack: We did a 10-day road trip.
Lazaro: The next show will be based on this trip we took. We went researching Native American cultures—Navajo Nation—and we went to Utah,
Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico.