Further indication that fall is just around the corner came from Proenza Schouler's first-ever ad campaign, which released a images earlier this week. But while the stunning portraits of models Tati Cotliar, and Ann and Kirby Kenny showing off fall items likely to be on every young fashion editor's wish list (ahem), we can't help but consider the timing of it all.
Proenza Schouler has long-relied on cult appeal and celebrity fans to drive its sales—the PS 1 bag alone has garnered enough cachet to presumably make designers Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez very rich men—but perhaps that's not really the case. If there's one lesson we've learned from American Apparel's recent nosedive in profits, street cred doesn't always translate to sales, and perhaps especially so on a high-fashion scale.
More than any other season on the fashion calendar, fall is truly a make it or break it period for designers—there's a reason why September issues get so much attention, and while the variety and selection of designer goods is a dizzying feast for the eyes on a surface level, ultimately it comes down to money. More garments are worn during the autumn and winter months, which translates to more to buy. Besides that, heavier, winter-weight fabrics tend to be more luxe and expensive, which also drives production costs up, thus necessitating and even greater need to offset these figures with higher sales.
In a recent interview with Grazia (via Racked), Lazaro Hernandez noted, "Sometimes I think the people who buy our clothes live in a parallel universe. Hell, we can't even afford our clothes." So maybe they're selling less of those $1600 duffels than we thought. It's one thing to have mass-appeal on a fashionable and artistic level, but it's an entirely other accomplishment to make enough money to pay the bills—hence Proenza Schouler's new, more direct approach by way of advertising, perhaps.
And it seems like McCollough and Hernandez aren't the only ones taking this route. Even Alexander Wang, a favorite amongst the downtown set has amped up his fall advertisement efforts, with a print campaign featuring Zoe Kravitz, and a video starring Abbey Lee Kershaw.
It's probably one of the only times these young designers are actually playing it safe with regards to their fashion-forward creations.