I've been a fan of
for many many seasons so going into
with the knowledge I would get to meet them was a huge thrill. As
entered the media suite at the Loews, the entire room first got quiet then followed by greetings and smiles. I was joined by the Examiner's
as we worked our way towards an introduction. The two ladies and I enjoyed a few pleasurable minutes with fashion's "golden boys." They had just finished telling us about their mini- beach vacay when the publicist whisked them away... and though I felt certain I wouldn't have another chance to speak with them again, I was content to have spent five minutes in their company.
Boy was I wrong about not seeing them again!
. Fabulous Felix and I headed upstairs to VIP for a drink and ended up chatting up a 90 minute storm with Jack and Lazaro. Our bartender, Michael, held the four of us captive with flowing champagne.
This was Proenza Schouler's first time in Atlanta and they commented on the high level of southern hospitality they had received. "Everyone is so nice and have treated us wonderfully" they said. A refreshing change from NY, perhaps?
Jack and Lazaro have a tremendous amount of work waiting for them in NY as they are only two weeks away from fashion week. They were remarkably calm, considering. When I asked them how often they fight, at first they giggled and then replied "we don't fight much at all." They added that it gets difficult at times because they are together 24/7, but that sharing a similar design aesthetic helps them agree more so than disagree.
Jack and Lazaro met while studying at Parsons under none other than the incomparable Tim Gunn. They pointed out elements that contributed to their success. The fact that their vision is unified makes it easier to produce a collection season after season. They also spoke [modestly] about how so much of their success was luck and chance. Being at the right place at the right time. Lazaro used as an example, the time he slipped a note to Anna Wintour, on a flight. He said that
happened and that he did it because it was an opportunity which had been placed before him. Lazaro felt he needed to "cease the moment." That moment got him an internship with Michael Kors. Jack interned with Marc Jacobs.
Felix and I didn't want to just talk shop with Proenza Schouler.
They were both so friendly and approachable. The champagne kept flowing and our conversation shifted into more personal things. Nothing scandalous!
We spoke about tattoos. Jack has a quarter sleeve on his right arm and they both have an identical tiny star behind their left ear. Felix asked them about it, but they weren't forthcoming with details, just that there's a lot of history between them. They did smile over the question.
Lazaro's mother, who lives in Miami, recently cooked Jack's favorite Cuban dish which is
. They like their
With all the success and fame Jack and Lazaro have acquired, none of it seems to have gone to their head. They are two of the nicest, down to earth and hottest fashion designers you could meet. These golden boys have travelled the world and have met the likes of fashion legends like Karl Lagerfeld. They are friends with designer Narciso Rodriguez and spoke fondly of him. And they are CFDA winners. Yet Felix and I hung out with them at the bar like old friends catching up. Fun, friendly and casual. They couldn't have been more "normal" though they are nothing short of extraordinary.
When I asked about the possibility of a Proenza Schouler men's line, I got two different responses. Jack said, "no, that be hard, because our personal style is so casual - tee shirts and jeans" and Lazaro said that "it would be our next step." Draw your own conclusion.
Jeffrey Fashion Cares opened the runway with looks from Proenza Schouler.
*Runway photos courtesy of Richard Dawson, Shaped-Light Photography
ps... thank you Jeffrey Kalinsky for bringing these two amazing designers to Atlanta!