Heron Preston is one of the most famous names in American fashion, and yet he’s never shown a collection in the states. From Paris to Milan, his eponymous brand, a streetwear mainstay, has shown the world over, so why New York now? “I’ve been living in New York City for the longest, and there are so many friends and family of mine that haven’t been able to come to our past fashion shows in Paris,” Heron explains to ESSENCE. “It hit a point where I started missing where you have a community coming together to celebrate all the hard work we’ve been putting into these collections. It was exciting to finally be able to invite them, and for some, it was their first fashion show ever. It’s exciting being able to provide access through my brand for others to experience something new.”
I guess there’s truly no place like home.
Over the course of the past six years, the brand has expanded on its distinct lens and corner within the high-luxe streetwear market with its signature orange and workwear sensibility. With various international showings, highly coveted collabs and drops, and everything from footwear to balaclavas, the question of the hour is, however, what more/or what would he show for his NYFW debut? He decided to offer a love letter to the city he loved so much. “This collection was really inspired by NYC and the place where the city really intertwines; the MTA and underground. There’s always magic to be found since so many cultures and people meet there as the cross-section of the city. ” This line of thinking has inspired artists, designers, and creators for decades —this idea of quiet inspiration from the most routine of places, the public. “It’s a place where style codes and street uniforms collide. The trains are hands down the best place to see all these people at once, it’s truly a place where multiple stories can be told.”
“It’s exciting being able to provide access through my brand for others to experience something new.” — Heron Preston
I went behind stage ahead of the show, and the excitement was ever present. Models, VIPs, the makeup and hair teams, and tons of young image makers/content creators excited to be apart of a such dynamic moment. Friends of the brand stopped in and out, models blasted tunes from their portable speakers, smoke breaks with their Heron Preston block steppers — it was like a scene out of Entergalatic or How To Make It In America.
The show, held at a lofty warehouse (very fitting for the brand’s aesthetic), opened with a crew of construction workers in orange safety vests (Heron included), marking out lines on the concrete to the tune of a jazz record — which instantly brought to mind, Basquiat. Models start to emerge, and the collection is a nice mixture of workwear, wearable denim pieces, and pops of fur. There’s a long black fur hooded coat worn with coordinating fuzzy heels (a highlight of the collection, as the accessories, are very of now), alongside a men’s suit made of a crinkled foam material. That’s the part where Heron shines most, through an effortless elevated athleisure point of view; button-ups with tailored sweatpants, Princess Diana fits (oversized blazers with leggings) — and the sneakers!
“Evolving the DNA of Heron Preston that I’ve established over the seasons, and continuing to push that vision of elevated great fits,” says Heron, explaining the tone and inspiration for the 42 look collection. “Utility, practical fashion, elevated and considered through the details – less is more. My new sustainability practice is Less Environmentally Destructive (L.E.D) and that’s a pillar of the collection this season. I was really reflecting on New York City as layers of materials and started with what I personally thought to be interesting. All this kind of mixing and matching – I think this kind of reflects the style codes of today.”
Few designers are able to capture such eagerness as Heron. As a member of a cohort of streetwear aficionados (see; Martine, Virgil, Jerry Lorenzo, Samuel Ross, etc.) able to channel that raw essence while pushing and introducing new concepts to the brand. Does it always work? No, but the energy is always electric. Like the excitement felt backstage by the models themselves, Heron has a built-in audience that feels seen by him. A faction of kids and disrupters that see the world in clockwork orange like Heron.
Take a look inside the highly anticipated show ahead.
All Images By: Olivia Morgan