You just have to love them.
Lazaro (I love his name) Hernandez and Jack McCollough are both 26. They have matching speech patterns, verbal tics, and tattoos (a single dark star that hides behind their left ears). They are also Proenza Schouler, arguably the most popular label to come out of New York since Narciso Rodriguez.
They met at Parsons school of designs, both new to the world of fashion. Lazaro had previously studied in medecine, and Mccollough started out as a glassblower, but they were instantly drawn to each other. They had to get special permission to do their thesis as a team. “They had such incredible synergy,” says Tim Gunn, the head of the fashion department at Parsons & the emotionless guy from Project Runway, who okayed the union. “During their junior year, it became really clear that they shared a vision and a philosophy.”
The thesis collection they produced attracted Julie Gilhart, the fashion director at Barneys New York. She bought the whole thing and rolled it right onto the sales floor. It was a hit, and within months the pair had found a backer (a German guy who remains anonymous).
What is it about pairs that is just so appealing? The fashion world is cruel and fickle, but it hasn’t been to these boys. There hasn’t been a bad review, an unflattering photograph. No one grand and glamorous has dropped them—yet. There is constant gossip about the state of their romantic life. They were, and now they’re not, or at least they are no longer living together — there are separate apartments and separate dogs. Regardless of the state of their love affair, their creative success is so dependent on each other that to contemplate a split would be insane.
“Jack’s been, like, my best friend for like five years,” says Hernandez. “When we first met, I was a teenager. I’ve obviously changed a lot, and what we’ve been through in the past five years has really been kind of crazy. He’s just like my best friend, but we’ve, like, learned how to be adults together. We had not one responsibility in the world four years ago, and now we have all the responsibility in the world and we’ve sort of done it together. So he’s taught me how to be an adult, I guess.”
Alright - all together now - awwwwwww.