A contemplative mood has surrounded the designers of Proenza Schouler, as they navigate the complexities of art and commerce in the fashion world. With a dedicated effort to bring their creative vision to life while acknowledging the demands of the industry, Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough have crafted a Spring/Summer 2024 collection that strikes a balance between commercial appeal and artistic integrity.
For Hernandez and McCollough, the journey to this balance has been intensely personal and reflective. With two decades of experience and a thriving business employing 100 people, the duo has witnessed firsthand the challenges faced by designers in an industry increasingly driven by attention and merchandising rather than new ideas. “It makes us sad,” McCollough confessed. “We’re creative souls, and somehow we’ve put our blood, sweat and tears into this and managed to survive and have a thriving business employing 100 people. Clothes have to be commercial, but for our soul, they have to be artful and hopeful, too. So it’s trying to find that balance.”
The Proenza Schouler Spring/Summer 2024 collection is a testament to the duo’s commitment to finding that balance. Showcased at the Phillips Auction House, a space where creativity and commerce intersect, the collection featured lightweight fabrics, convertibility, ease, and sophistication. Marking their first foray into denim and logo design, the collection also included reimagined versions of their hit bag, the PS1, and the introduction of PS denim.
The collection was not just a display of fashion but also an expression of the designers’ artistic vision. They collaborated with Los Angeles singer Natalie Mering of Weyes Blood, who opened the show before heading to Madison Square Garden for a performance. “She represents intellect, strength, and soul,” Hernandez said of Mering, echoing the qualities they sought to embody in their core customer.
The collection itself consisted of elevated everyday pieces, from a chic crisp white blazer and navy moleskin pants to airy white poplin shirts with drawstring hems, mesh t-shirts, jeans, and leather pants. Weightless ruched jersey dresses, ribbon crochet tube dresses, and filmy skirts with transparent sea green plastic shard embroideries demonstrated the duo’s love of handicraft and attention to detail.
Another significant aspect of the collection was the introduction of Proenza Schouler’s first logo. Two years in the making, the subtle mark consists of two “Ps” joined to form an “S.” This logo was integrated throughout the collection as gold hardware on loafers, belt buckles, embossed on bags, and as a jacquard on sweaters.
©Photo: Proenza Schouler