5 Questions To Public School

7.12.2013

By Julien Sauvalle

A chat with designers Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne

Memorize these faces!

After winning the Swarovski Award for Menswear last month, Dao-Yi Chow (left) and Maxwell Osborne (right), the designer duo behind Public School, were just getting over their recent nomination for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund when we met them at their SoHo showroom to get a preview of their next collection.

Seemed like a good time to ask them a few questions before they take on their next challenge: impress Anna Wintour.

Congrats on your CDFA/Vogue Fashion Fund nomination. How are you feeling?

Dao-Yi: We’re putting the pieces together. Everything is going to happen pretty fast in terms of the project starting. We’re just trying to really focus now on what we have to do in the next four months.
Maxwell: Even down to the next four days, because you get a call and they tell you ‘You have a huge presentation in four days’! We watched the Hulu series The Fashion Fund yesterday. We talked to Antonio [Azzuolo], and everybody who we’re friendly with and who already applied to ask them how the process is.

What’s the next step?

M: A big presentation in front of the judges, that’s when they officially meet us and the brand.
D: It’s a four month process. During that course of four months we have to do a big design assignment for Uniqlo and a runway show in L.A.. It’s pretty extensive.

Why did you name you label Public School?

D: We both went to public school in New York.
M: Yeah, but I also went to a catholic high school (laughs). The name is about the aesthetic that comes with going to a public school, what you’re wearing, the attitude you bring in, who you hang out with. It was very much a New York thing. We’re biased, but New York public schools mean a lot to us.

Describe the Public School man?

D: Modern.
M: Confident. Well-travelled.
D: Wants to be different without shouting it. Understands his own sense of style. Values style that separates him from the rest. Appreciates authenticity and originality. Aspirational. Likes good things in life.

Your ultimate style icon?

D&M: George Lewis of Twin Shadow. He has that sort of downtown-cool way, there’s an edge about him, but he's still very approachable and artsy.
D: We were fans of the band first, and we had a chance meeting after one of their performances at Soho House. We started talking about working together and doing a shoot together. We shot him for a facebook campaign.
M: He scored the music for our last three presentations. He also recorded a video for one of the songs he made for our presentation A/W12. 


The Public School Fall 2013-14 Presentation at the latest New York Fashion Week (Ben Gabbe/Getty)

More on Public School coming soon...

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