Maxwell Osborne and Dao-Yi Chow, the talented twosome behind Public School and, most recently, DKNY, are bringing their brand of sportswear-meets-sophisticated cool to UAE shores for their first ever international catwalk show, taking place at the Dubai Design District this month.
“A destination show isn’t something we’ve ever done, and we may never do it again!” Dao-Yi explains, laughing. “But this season we’d talked about the idea of where technology ends and the world begins, and the balance between the two. And when you think about Dubai, it’s this amazing, modern city that’s sort of just dropped in the middle of nature, so it really made sense to us to show here. One of the images from our original concept brainstorms was Burj Khalifa. We’re really excited.”
Not currently stocked in the region, the pair hope to make their Public School vision clear to the Middle Eastern market. “This show gives us the chance to reach a whole part of the world that we’ve never really directly engaged with. We hope Dubai gets a good sense of our idea of big city life and what that means in terms of having an easy, versatile wardrobe that focuses on movement and pieces that will take you from day to night. There’s a toughness and an attitude that’s intertwined in the collection. It really is all about a sophisticated ease.”
Ensuring they have a unique selling point to differentiate the brand from its sports-inspired peers, Max explains that “the mix between sportswear and tailoring is something we kind of stand for.” Dao-Yi agrees, adding, “The tailoring really represents this idea of structure and that’s at the core of what Public School is; there’s always a balance between structured tailoring and the easiness of sportswear.”
Public School A/W15
Do they ever disagree when it comes to ideas? “The great thing about a partnership is that there’s a sounding board for everything,” Max says. “We fight sometimes but the way we settle is whoever feels more passionately, gets to win. It’s based on trust. So if somebody wants to try pink, you know we can try it...” Dao-Yi, jumps in, “We never do pink!” Max laughs, saying, “You never know what might happen in Dubai though!” —Maddison Glendinning