Admittedly, I actually had never heard of the Public School brand and certainly not of it’s creative designers Max Osborne or Dao-Yi Chow until they began receiving national attention and kudos from the American fashion industry elites. In 2013 the duo was dubbed Swarovski Menswear of the Year by the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), an organization led by Diane von Furstenberg and Vogue, dedicated to the investment in and growth of the fashion industry and American designers. Later in the year, Public School was officially indicted into the coveted CFDA community winning the $300,000 Fashion Fund award, a signal of the American fashion industry’s commitment to the growth of the two designers and their sporty, sleek street-style brand.
Read more about Public School & the CFDA here, here, and here.
The designers and men behind the brand, both native New Yorkers, Osborne and Chow, met while working at Tommy Hilfiger. While they have several years between them in age and were in different positions at Hilfiger, they find common ground in their design aesthetic. They began actively collaborating after Dao-Yi opened a boutique in Florida and brought on Max to help him create an exclusive line for the store. While the store did not survive, the design relationship and friendship between Osborne and Chow thrived and Public School was launched in 2007.
When the brand first launched, their vision was clear: they wanted to create sleek, sporty street-style garments with an air of decadence characteristic to luxury brands. However, with production and manufacturing taking place in China, the quality promised by their designs was not delivered. Public School suffered as a result and was dropped from Barney’s. The brand was relaunched in 2012 with the same concept, and this time Chow and Osborne made the crucial decision to conduct all matters of production and manufacturing in the United States, specifically Brooklyn, to ensure that what they put out was of the highest quality possible.
(Another triumph for American manufacturing!)
The re-launch was a total success- the brand rebounded with incredible force, gaining support from the fashion community, and with their national recognition by the CFDA , the duo has gained the attention and respect of global fashion elites.
Here’s the run-down on Public School…
How to describe their designs? Clean, sporty, street-style roots with high fashion inspiration looks.
Who do they design for? The edgy, sophisticated but sporty American male.
Where do they get their inspiration? High fashion, NYC, basketball, etc.
Where can you buy their designs? Public School, ShopStyle, RevolveClothing
What will it cost you? $180-$1600
What’s coming? Women’s Read-to-Wear!