Proenza Schouler is a New York based womenswear and accessories brand founded in 2002 by designers Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez. The design aesthetic is defined by the duo's use of fine luxury materials crafted with sense of effortlessness and ease. Proenza Schouler has won five CFDA awards including the 2003 Swarovski award for Ready-to-Wear, the 2009 Accessory Designer of the Year award, and the Womenswear Designer of the Year award in 2007, 2011 and 2013.
New York-based womenswear and accessories brand Proenza Schouler was founded in 2002 by fashion designers Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, who duo met while studying at Parsons School of Design and subsequently collaborated on their senior thesis which became their first collection as Proenza Schouler. It was an instant hit. Named after the designers’ mothers’ maiden names, the collection was bought by Barneys New York.
Awarded with the inaugural CFDA Vogue Fashion Fund award in 2004, the emerging fashion brand was quickly established as one to watch out for in the industry. Since, Proenza Schouler won five CFDA awards including the 2003 Swarovski Award for Ready-to-Wear, the 2009 Accessory Designer of the Year award, and the Womenswear Designer of the Year award in 2007, 2011 and 2013.
Proenza Schouler makes luxury fashion for the intelligent urban woman. The body of work is defined by Jack and Lazaro’s use of luxury fabrics and an effortless design aesthetic. The fashion brand launched its first handbag collection in 2008, including the PS1, a classic satchel that has been described by fashion editors as wearable luxury and quickly became become the brand’s signature.
In 2012, the brand expanded its accessories line with a footwear collection licensed through Giuseppe Zanotti, Vicini SpA. Buoyed by success, the brand diversified into swimwear in 2014 through a licensing agreement with Swimwear Anywhere. The following year, Proenza Schouler signed a licensing agreement with L’Oréal for the development and creation of fragrances.
Proenza Schouler quickly mapped its rise through a number of significant collaborations with leading brands. The duo created a line of hand painted denim with J Brand, collaborated with filmmaker Harmony Korine on their first original video featuring the Fall 2010 collection, collaborated with MAC Cosmetics on a limited-edition makeup collection and partnered with Parisian department store Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche for a capsule collection and exhibit.
The following year, the duo collaborated with Harley Weir and Jen Brill on an original video, ‘Legs Are Not Doors’, featuring the 2015 Spring Collection and again the following year on their second original video together, ‘PS I Love You’, featuring the Pre-Fall 2016 collection.
There were a lot of structural changes. In 2007, the Valentino Fashion Group bought 45 per cent stake in Proenza Schouler. Stefano Sassi, Valentino Fashion Group CEO, became Chairman of Proenza Schouler and Shirley Cook continued to be the CEO. “We’re happy we now have a security net for our company, which we never had before,” Hernandez told WWD. “The business has been growing exponentially, and to do that you need the proper funding.” McCollough added. “It’s also having a strategic partner who can really get involved in terms of the factories, to be able to help with timely deliveries, and with distribution networks — all things the Valentino Fashion Group has a lot of strength in.”
In 2011, Proenza Schouler’s Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez issued a joint statement to confirm that Andrew Rosen and John Howard took over a stake in their business from Permira—the conglomerate that operates Valentino. Finally, Castanea Partners acquired a minority interest in the fashion brand, appointing Judd Crane as CEO. In end-2018, however, Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez – with the help of private investors – bought back their company’s shares from Castanea Partners.
In 2017, Proenza Schouler announced their exit from the traditional ready-to-wear calendar to align with the couture calendar. This switch changed the location of their runway shows from New York to Paris, and merged their main and pre-collections, only showing twice a year. The fashion designers continue to stay grounded in their design aesthetic while staying relevant.
On their Fall Winter 2023 collection, Vogue wrote, “Clothes-wise, the idea was to make an art of the everyday. By adding vertical zippers to the back of blazers that flashed a hint of skin but also enhanced ease of movement, by whipping up a hoodie in the softest, plushest knit, and by cutting “jeans” in a glossy gold leather…”
Proenza Schouler has a flagship boutique located at 121 Greene Street in New York, and is sold in over 350 doors worldwide, including Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Harrods, Galeries Lafayette, and Shinsegae. The brand is available online at www.proenzaschouler.com, as well as through its retail partners including Net-A-Porter, MyTheresa, Matches Fashion, Moda Operandi, and FarFetch.
Designing a complete, contemporary wardrobe for the intelligent, adult, urban woman of today. Hernandez told WWD, "It's a weird sort of vision: the atelier couture thing, but the vision of someone who grew up in the Nineties. It's the mix of both worlds."
Proenza Schouler envisions making luxury fashion for the intelligent, adult urban woman. The work is generally defined by founder designers Jack and Lazaro's use of fine luxury materials infused with a marked sense of effortlessness and ease.
Lazaro Hernandez (Founder)
Jack McCollough (Founder)
Recognition and Awards
Products and Services
Womenswear and accessories
- Official website Proenza Schouler
- Proenza Schouler Inks Deal for Swimwear WWD
- ReIssue of first collection at Barneys Vogue
- Proenza Schouler Regains Full Ownership of Company Humble and Rich
- Facebook profile of Proenza Schouler Facebook
- Minority stake sold Fashionista
- Proenza Schouler Inks Licensing Deal for Footwear WWD
- Valentino buys 45% stake in Proenza Schouler Drapers
- Instagram profile of Proenza Schouler Instagram
- CFDA Awards nomination The Cut
- First fragrance launched Fashionista
- Proenza Schouler opens second New York store Fashion Network
- Twitter profile of Proenza Schouler Twitter
- Show moved to Paris The Cut
- LinkedIn profile of Proenza Schouler LinkedIn
- Proenza Schouler to Launch New Line WWD
- Youtube profile of Proenza Schouler Youtube
Pre Fall 2016 The Cut
- Wikipedia profile of Proenza Schouler Wikipedia
Lazaro Hernandez (Founder)
Jack McCollough (Founder)
Fashion and Textiles