Thanks to celebrities wearing its clothes as well as a few seasons of very solid collections, luxury brand Public School has enjoyed a surge in popularity during the last year or two. With its dark, yet almost playful use of modern silhouettes, it has become a favorite of fashion-forward people across the globe. At its core, though, Public School is a New York brand. Its founders, Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne, are natives of the city, and that influence is visible in every piece that they create. The collaboration they just dropped is a perfect example of that, as was the celebration they planned for the release as well as the people they chose to model their clothes.
Late last month, the brand collaborated with legendary headwear brand New Era for a line of NYC-themed ballcaps. Riffing on the classic New York Yankees and New York Mets logos, which both bear the initials “NY,” the caps featured Public School’s signature “PSNY” trademark as well as one of their taglines, “Where NY Lives.” The embroidery is subtle enough to pass off as standard MLB logo lettering at first glance, but upon closer inspection, Chow and Osborne have created something understatedly their own as evidenced by the trendy curved bills and branding inside the hats.
They also could not have picked a better ambassador for the collection. For hats so exclusive and meaningful to the city, the obvious choice was Queens-born rapper Nasir Jones, better known as Nas. A hometown legend since his 1994 release “Illmatic,” Nas is famous for his intricate wordplay, former feud with fellow New Yorker Jay-Z, and his old-school hip-hop-inspired fashion. Chow himself called the rapper the “one person that could fully do justice to this campaign,” and rightfully so—for many New Yorkers, Nas is a personality emblematic of the city, and the Yankees New Era cap is an integral part of his image.
The release party, too, was an ingenious ode to New York. Though the guest list included big names like New York Giants superstar Victor Cruz and designer Ronnie Fieg, Chow and Osborne stayed true to their roots by hosting the event in a run-of-the-mill NYC pizzeria. Hats were on display where pies and calzones are usually, and live music by members of the iconic Harlem rap duo Dipset replaced the usual buzz of flatscreen televisions. All in all, the release was a perfectly tailored showcase of exactly what Public School represents: a little bit of luxury, a lot of pop culture influence, and a vibe that is unmistakably New York.
Have you had a chance to check out the Public School x New Era collaboration? Let me know here or on Twitter @BillChangNY