Proenza Schouler began simply as a senior project at Parsons School of Design. It was there that, in 1998, Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez first met while studying fashion design. For three years the two designed independently and quite successfully.
In his junior year, Jack took an internship with Marc Jacobs, eventually working directly with the designer himself. For his subsequent junior collection Jack was awarded the National CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) First Prize as well as a Silver Thimble awarded by a designer to the student of his/her choice.
At about the same time, Lazaro dropped a note to American Vogue Editor in ChiefAnna Wintour while on the same Miami New York flight. As a result of this chance meeting (which would be famously chronicled by The New York Times), he received a call from Michael Kors to schedule an interview. He began an internship there and developed a close working relationship with Kors. For his junior collection, Lazaro was also a National CFDA finalist, and received the prestigious Silver Thimble.
In their senior year at Parsons School of Design, Jack and Lazaro designed their first collection that exceeded all expectations. This collection received the Golden Thimble award and the entire collection was bought by Barneys New York. As a result at the age of 23, Jack and Lazaro launched their own independent label Proenza Schouler, named after their mothers.
The Spring/Summer 2003 collection brought similar acclaim. It was named by both Women"s Wear Daily and Style.com as one of the season"s "Top 10 Collections". The collection was purchased by stores throughout North America, Europe and Asia, including Neiman Marcus, Colette, Harvey Nichols, Holt Renfrew, and Isetan. In addition, Jack and Lazaro received the CFDA/Swarovski Perry Ellis Award for Ready to Wear in 2003, and in the same year was awarded the first ever CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund grant in October.
In 2004 Proenza Schouler launched their first shoe collection with great reception. The Fall/Winter 2006 and 2007 collection was voted one of the "Top 10 Collections" and also the Top 10 Fall Accessories" by Style.com and Vogue.
In both 2006 and 2007 The Council of Fashion Designers o f America have nominated Jack and Lazaro for the Womenswear Designer of the Year award. In 2007 they won the CFDA Award.
In 2007 Proenza Schouler and L"Amy America signed a worldwide license agreement for the creation, production and distribution of ophthalmic glasses and sunglasses under the Proenza Schouler brand name.
In 2007 Valentino Fashion Group SpA took a 45% stake in Proenza Schouler.
Proenza Schouler has developed relationships with many celebrities including Kirsten Dunst, Demi Moore, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Chloe Sevigny, Julianne Moore and Kate Bosworth.
For Fall 2012 designers are inspired by a wide range of influences, from the elaborate details of brocade and metallic gold embellishments to the dynamic mix of military chic and power pantsuits. Colo