Believe it or not, Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez don't think they've made it. "You never think you have, you know?" laughs Hernandez. "It's true," McCollough chimes in. "You are always trying to solve the newest problem." Trust us, lads, your meteoric rise since 2002 and multi-awards speaks volumes: You are good. The business and life partners graced Bostonians with their charismatic presence last Thursday atSaks Fifth Avenue Boston to chat about their spring collection of rocker leather fringed vests, sassy trench coats, asymmetrical cashmere crewnecks, flowered frocks galore, a brand new perfume, Arizona...and their particular love for Boston.
Proenza Schouler's Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez with Boston Common Editor-in-Chief, Lisa Pierpont
Lisa Pierpont: Tell us about your spring collection. What was the inspiration?
Hernandez: We were invited by the Chambre Syndicale De La Couture, which is the ruling body of haute couture in Paris, to show our collection during Paris Couture week, which is a huge honor for American designers. So we were inspired by the legacy of French couture and the idea of all these independent ateliers like ribbon workers, embroiderers, and weavers. Our collection was a love letter to Paris.
LP: What do you consider some of the stand-outdetails?
McCollough: There is some sharper tailoring, a lot of exposed midriff areas. We did a lot of ruffles but in knitwear, so it looks super soft . We did a lot of feather-work with hand-woven fabrics and embroidery, so it had a wonderful lightness to it.
LP: How do your clothes fit with the sensibility of the Boston woman?
Hernandez: Well, I think our collection has something for everyone. You can wear our black pant with a black jacket and make it more conservative, or pair it with an amazing skirt and make more of a statement. That is the beauty of today and our collection.
LP: What are some of your favorite places and memories of Boston?
McCollough: I went to Walnut Hill, a boarding school outside ofBoston. I have these memories of wild weekends with some friends who were in college at the time, and took me around. Crazy times.
Hernandez: I grew up in Miami, but my dad took me on a solo road trip from Florida to Fenway Park. He was a huge baseball junkie.
LP: You are partners in your personal life as well as business, how do you guys swing that?
McCollough: I know, all of our friends ask how we do it. Honestly, we are still figuring it out along the way. We do everything together. We begin the season talking about ideas and then I start sketching. Lazaro starts sketching, and then we take our sketches and make it all together. The two ideas, two different opposing ideas come together and make something greater, I suppose.
LP: Saks Fifth Avenue, among other department stores, has been hugely supportive of your work. How important is that?
McCollough: They’ve been amazing. We launched our global fragrance, Arizona, and Saks is our only partner in all of the United States.
Hernandez: Walking around Saks tonight, Proenza Schouler is in the special space between Valentino and Celine. We are the only American designer. It feels so cool to be in that world.