Wednesday, 30 September 2015 09:41

TheChicGeek Meets Public School

American menswear Public School the chic geekHere to launch their Woolmark Prize winning men’s collection at Harvey Nichols, TheChicGeek grabbed design duo, Maxwell Osborne and Dao-Yi Chow of American fashion label, Public School, for a couple of minutes to talk Made in the USA, DKNY and state schools

Left - Not your average public schoolboys! Dao-Yi & Maxwell of Public School

Winners of the inaugural International Woolmark Menswear Prize, Public School has been gaining attention over the last few seasons and has been tasked with the makeover of American fashion giant DKNY. The winning Woolmark collection is in their signature black and features machine body-conscious hoodies, sweaters and leggings and is available Harvey Nichols Knightsbridge and Matchesfashion.com. 

Where did the name Public School come from? “It’s from the idea of New York being a melting pot. Public School is about not being an intimidating designer name: we wanted to make it something everybody could get into it,” says Maxwell.

Do they realise that public school means something completely different in the UK? I suggested they renamed the label ‘State School’, “We need to change the labels here!” laughs Maxwell.

So, they’ve just taken over at DKNY, will they be doing the menswear and what can we expect?

woolmark prize menswear public school harvey nichols“No, just women’s. As for men’s, they’re exiting the business. Maybe in a couple of years it will return,” says Dao. 

Right - The new Woolmark Prize winning men's knitwear on display at Harvey Nichols London

How would they sum up Public School for those not familiar with the label?

“It’s a men’s and women’s designer collection based out of New York and also the production is done in New York City. It’s around this idea of convergence and mixing,” Dao says.

How do they find production in the USA and doesn’t it make selling in Europe prohibitively expensive?

“Production is difficult in general. But, it’s easier for a company of our size, now, which is small, to keep production in the US,” says Dao. 

“We have to get creative. Give a retailer discount if they can buy more to off-set the difference,” says Maxwell.

The Public School Woolmark Collection is available at Harvey Nichols & Matchesfashion.com - Prices - £235 - £740

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