Cherished memories… that is how the majority of us will think of when we look back at our years in secondary school and public education, a clear distinction though for those who grew up in New York City. Encompassing some 1,600-plus schools and 1.1 million students, the New York City public education system is a maze of intertwined lives. Each school is a microcosm, a mirrored image of the neighborhood beyond the playground and chain linked fences. Students are not only expected to achieve academically, but to overcome the trials and tribulations of day-to-day life in an urban jungle. This notion is not lost on designers Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne of the apparel label Public School.
To merely survive in this city of 8.3 million, it takes more than just a superficial front or wealth. Instead, survival equates to a curious combination of street smarts, talent, substance, and a good dose of quiet confidence. Likewise, you will not find gaudy accents or unnecessary appendages on Public School’s designs. Each is a small representation of New York City’s seedy past along with its gentrified present, a novel study of that aforementioned quiet confidence. At the helm of the 2-year old brand are 2 seasoned designers: Dao-Yi Chow, former Creative Director at Sean “P. Diddy” Combs’ Sean John and Maxwell Osborne, who specialized in men’s and knitwear designs.
A day after the New York Yankees baseball team clenched its 27th World Series Title last November, Freshness sat down with both designers to better understand the label known as Public School.