Studio Visit: Public School

Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne of Public School give us a glimpse into their growing business and tell us about the importance of relinquishing control, why they don't mind being labeled strong and sensitive, and how their collection allows guys to both stand out and blend in.


"We're not looking to relax," says Chow of his and Maxwell's grueling, nonstop schedule since winning the 2013 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund last November. "You always have to keep a certain level of edge in your work. That's how you move the needle and get things done."

That understanding and their appreciation of tension and instability have become central to the brand's dark, street-inspired yet sophisticated sportswear, which is all manufactured in New York City's Garment District. Rather than give in to the sweeping Americana and heritage trends, Chow and Maxwell have always stuck by their instincts and produced exactly what they wanted to, even thought it meant having to shut down in 2010 and regroup.

While there's no questioning the collections' exquisite tailoring and strong point of view, the pair's relentless work ethic and perseverance make for an equally compelling story. After all, who doesn't love a comeback?

Click enlarge to view the slideshow of our studio tour and interview with Public School.

—Katie Chang is a writer and shopkeeper based in Brooklyn. Follow her at @katieshewrote.

What do you consider your strengths as designers?

Chow: I think designing for fall is our strength, because we love doing outerwear, working with different skins, and the tailoring involved with those pieces—all those silhouettes and layering. What else are we good at, Max?

Osborne: The collection is so much a reflection of us and what we want to wear. Spring/summer is always a little harder, because in the summertime, we're pretty much in a T-shirt and jeans. So to build a whole collection like that, we have to reach outside of ourselves a bit. We definitely love fall, pre-spring, and holiday, too.

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