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New York Awards 2003

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Proenza Schouler: Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough
Two years ago, Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez were petitioning their Parsons professors for permission to co-design their senior theses. Two runway shows later, they’re in such demand they’re turning top retailers away. “We hope they’re not mad!” says Hernandez. They may not be in mass production, but they’ve managed to do exactly what young designers should do: make women look seriously, tremendously cool. Proenza Schouler embodies exactly the nonchalance that New Yorkers spend hours carefully assembling: classic, sharp shapes that are never too fussy or prim, that are always sexy but never overt. Celebrities beg them for clothes, which, in today’s paparazzi-heaven fashion world, is as gold as it gets (for the record: Demi Moore, Marisa Tomei they love, the Olsen twins they could do without), but they’re still so young that they were momentarily mistaken for waiters at the Costume Institute Gala. “At the end of day, we’re still kind of big dorks,” says Hernandez, with the confidence of one who’s always been anything but. —AMY LAROCCA


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