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Proenza Schouler Pre-AW17 lookbookCourtesy of Proenza Schouler

Proenza Schouler challenge fashion’s diversity apathy

‘Diversity in our industry has been embarrassingly lacklustre over the years’

“In today’s scary world we need to speak up, more than ever, about the things that matter to us and champion just causes.” So say Proenza Schouler’s design duo Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, discussing the topic in light of a new lookbook by photographer Ethan James Green. “Diversity in our industry has been embarrassingly lacklustre over the years and so with this shoot, we felt it was right to go there and really celebrate it.”

The casting for the lookbook (which features three trans models) was the combined efforts of the trio. “We asked Ethan to cast some girls he had worked with in the past, and he brought forth Stav, Marcs and Torraine who also happen to be his close friends. The mix felt right and the overall message of diversity very contemporary. The whole thing felt like the NY we know.” 

Shot entirely in colour, the images are a small step away from the monochrome portraits that Green is well known for, but the message of inclusion is one that resonates with him – he previously shot both LGBT anti-Trump protesters and the cast and crew of the biopic of Marsha P. Johnson for Dazed. 

“We have admired Ethan’s work for a while now,” said the pair – who have mutual friends with the photographer. “Ethan's way of capturing distinct personalities in a socially conscious and progressive way and his strong connection with New York and its underground subcultures is something we respect.”

“It is so great to work with Jack and Lazaro,” the photographer shared, “there are a few people that are very important to all three of us and it feels like we are part of an extended family. They trust me and give me space, which allows the images to keep something genuine about them.”

What next for the Proenza? This collection (pre-AW17) is the last Stateside offering for the brand, before it heads to Paris for SS18, joining the likes of Vetements on the couture schedule.