Earlier this month we shared that Public School founders Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osbourne left DKNY. Vogue recently caught up with the pair to get their thoughts on everything from the lessons they learned while at DKNY to their plans for the new year. Below is an excerpt from the piece. Check out the full read here.
What were your proudest moments at DKNY?
Dao-Yi Chow: I think the proudest thing was the way that all of the teams came together, all of the senior management across all the departments: design, obviously, merchandising, the retail team, the PR and marketing teams, all those teams coming together for the vision, everyone from the CEO down to the people in the stores, that’s what we’re proudest of.
Maxwell Osborne: It wasn’t an easy task. It’s such a big company that operated so segmented for so long. You had to knock down the walls and make everybody feel like one. It took a year for everybody to start to connect, and to feel like one unit. On that last show [in September], that’s where we felt that everybody knew their role, what to do, how to do it, knew the vision, and believed in the vision. Everybody on the design team had been at DKNY for a long time, so they knew an old way of working; it took some time, but everybody embraced the new way. That was a good feeling. That’s the culture we wanted to have. No matter how big it is, to treat it like a small company is something we wanted to do.
DC: I think culture is an important word. I don’t want to say there wasn’t a culture there, there was a culture that had evolved or devolved over however many years. That was our number one priority, to create a vibe that people could believe in. Like Max was saying, the last show was the culmination. People really trusted each other, believed in each other, and loved working there.
Let’s talk about Public School and 2017. What do we have to look forward to during New York Fashion Week?
MO: We’re planning to take our Public School slot back on February 12 at 11:00 a.m., a slot we’ve always loved. That’s the plan. Men’s and women’s.
DC: Creatively that’s how we think. We’ve never thought men’s then women’s, or women’s then men’s. It’s always been a joint thought. It makes sense for us. The vision is the guy and the girl, and they’re not separated. Especially for us, a lot of the silhouettes and fabrications cross over, so why wouldn’t you show it that way? That’s the complete vision, any other way it’s not the complete picture.