For the past few seasons DKNY’s aesthetic has veered strongly towards the streets. Sports-luxe has been a dominant feature throughout each of the most recent collections, meaning the DKNY girl has become distinctly different from her tailored Donna Karan sister. In acid-bright prints, jersey separates, carrying a sporty holdall and strutting the sidewalk in wedge sneaks, DKNY caters to the Rita Ora and Cara Delevingne gen.
To push this young dynamic even further, two of the hippest designer dudes in New York City have been drafted in as a new creative directors. Meet Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osbourne of the greatly hyped, CFDA-winning Public School.
The first seed of Public School was planted a decade ago when Chow introduced pimped up tees and sweats for a store that he opened in Miami. In 2007 Osbourne came on board and despite a small wobble in the early days where the label shutdown and then reopened, it has been playing an integral part throughout the past couple of years in shaping New York Fashion Week’s ever-growing, counter-cultural urbanwear set. Less Uptown, more down’n’dirty, they sit alongside other labels like VFiles and Hood By Air, who are redefining the established codes of American luxury and breaking new ground within the burgeoning hotspot of unisex retailing.
Style-wise we’re looking at more aggressive clothing than you’d usually see at a DKNY show – they could well be labelled as a pre-cursor to the sports goth movement. Their womenswear is most often monochromatic, sporty in shape (bombers, basketball shorts, low-crotch pants) but free of the superfluous bells and whistles you may find on other athleisure-gear.
With Public School’s design and production taking place within the confines of New York, no one could ever doubt that this pair is fully immersed in the culture of their city sidewalks and coolest dwellers.
The duo will present their first DKNY collection during September’s New York Fashion Week.