Public School, which recently announced it would be re-joining the NYFW calendar after a brief hiatus of showing off-season, was chosen as the third label to participate in the CFDA’s Retail Lab, WWD has reported. In addition to a $75,000 grant and mentorship from industry figures, the initiative has provided designers Maxwell Osborne and Dao-Yi Chow with a retail space at Cadillac’s SoHo headquarters for three months, which marks the first brick-and-mortar store (albeit a temporary one) for Public School.
For the space, the designers constructed an installation that features a real vintage Cadillac crashing into a wall, with the half-open trunk holding merchandise inside. “We messed it up a bit,” said Osborne. “We ran a car through the wall to offset the prettiness of the showroom.” Chow added that the trunk idea played into the brand's ‘street mentality.' “You pop the trunk and that’s where you find the hot merchandise,” he said. Men’s and women’s pieces from the collection are for sale, as well as an “exclusive collaboration product” yet to be revealed.
This is exciting news for the designers, who were dropped from DKNY last month after LVMH sold the brand to G-III Apparel Group. The duo told Vogue it was difficult to juggle two brands—another reason why they moved Public School off the official calendar and opted to go coed. By the looks of it, they seems to be in a good groove now, especially given that Retail Lab participants (past designers include Timo Weiland and Cushnie et Ochs) are selected via the CFDA’s very competitive application process. The lesson here? Sometimes slow and steady—which may seem a bit counterproductive in our fast-paced, consumer-driven industry—wins the race. The next designers to participate in the 2016/2017 term will include Tanya Taylor, Pamela Love, and Prabal Gurung.
The Retail Lab is located within Cadillac House at 330 Hudson Street and is open seven days a week from 11 AM - 7 PM Monday through Saturday and 12 PM - 6 PM on Sunday.