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Proenza Schouler at IFB Conference

Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez talk to Dazed Digital about the way bloggers has become a fashion force to be reckoned with

You’ll hardly find one (let alone two) New York designers more attuned to the modern way of cyber communication, such as blogs, tweets, Tumblers etc, than Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, the design duo behind Proenza Schouler. And during last week's fashion frenzy in New York, Hernandez and McCollough paid a visit to Milk Studio's Independent Fashion Bloggers Conference, where their talk - all about how and why they use the internet - was attended by social media butterflies, pro-bloggers (Faran Krentcil of NYLON, Phil Oh of Streetpeeper, Susie Bubble) and journalists. Business of Fashion’s Imran Amed moderated and what emerged was the picture - or rather, a Twitpic - of a fashion brand that’s excited about the new, unsnobbish about its fans, and willing to try anything once.

Asked what Proenza loves most about fashion bloggers, Hernandez replied, seemingly in all caps: “passion!” When Amed brought up Vogue Italia editor Franca Sozzani’s recent statement that bloggers are a “viral epidemic”, Hernandez squirmed said: "Well, maybe she has a different idea of influence than we do". And the Proenza Shouler has managed to find the right level of web involvement; their pieces and prices verge on luxury, but their attitude’s so not. An active, engaged Twitter account; web-exclusive products (friendship bracelets, wallets); live-streamed shows before everyone did it; last season’s viral-sensational video by Harmony Korine: they’ve got all the mutual web-love in the world. After their speech, Hernandez and McCollough spoke exclusively to Dazed about googling for inspiration.

Dazed Digital: What are some of the blogs you go to, besides just Google Image, for inspiration?
Jack McCollough
: We like this blog called But Does It Float, a contemporary art blog. My sister actually has an amazing blog called Brave Architecture, which is like design, furniture, and architecture.
Lazaro Hernandez: We look at more art blogs than fashion blogs, for design and visuals.

DD: Would you start a Tumblr?
Lazaro Hernandez: Yeah, yeah, we're going to. We want to. Just to post inspiration images, what we're looking at and thinking about at the time.

DD: During the talk, you said the opinions of old-school, old-media fashion journalists and new-school bloggers were equally important to you. Is it really equal, or more... different?
Jack McCollough: Yes, it's a different kind of important. Cathy Horyn's opinion is based on a long history of knowledge in the fashion world. A lot of these young kids, they don't have that, but they do have an instinctual, kind of naive way of seeing fashion, but it's in a really cool kind of organic way.

DD: Do you google yourselves?
Jack McCollough: Do we google ourselves? I google myself! I don't know about him.

Photo by Dustin Fenstermacher