Public School wins CFDA and Lexus Fashion Initiative

Public School founders Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne have won the CFDA + Lexus Fashion Initiative, an award designed to inspire commitment to transformative leadership, sustainable innovation and positive change.

The New York-based brand will receive a grant of 100,000 dollars underwritten by Lexus structured as a virtual residency, the initiative provides education and mentorship

Speaking about sustainability, Public School’s Chow told WWD: “I think everyone’s best intentions are there. But until we can have some kind of institutional knowledge and practice for it, it still feels really segmented. Everyone is really wanting to do their part — what’s specific to their business. It doesn’t feel like there’s any momentum ever. And maybe that’s what change is,” he said. “It just feels really segmented. Maybe it’s supposed to be that way.”

Through its new V-to platform, Public School will offer sustainable garments and, at a later date, fabrics. The company’s strategic partner Alan Mak described the project as “an overall blank program” that will be opened up to the entire industry to use. The aim is to have a “wide-reaching impact” beyond its own business, he said. “The idea is to be able to create a program that is brand-agnostic to us. It’s something that is universal that people can really get on board with. It’s not necessarily tied to Public School.”

Making the point that sustainability is “kind of a loose word that doesn’t mean a lot,” Osborne said, “It’s important to create a bigger call to action for people. That’s why this other platform and brand is inclusive. It’s not just about Public School. It’s about everybody getting on board to try to make changes.”

Public School was founded in 2008 and aims to define the landscape for menswear and women’s wear through their specific New York state of mind. The company has kept its production roots in New York, supporting local tailors, pattern makers and skilled garment workers.

Image Public School NYC

 

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