New York has always been an integral part of Heron Preston’s life and design ethos – he attended Parsons School of Design and his collaboration with the New York City Department of Sanitation helped put him on the map. But although he has lived in the city for almost 20 years, he has never organized a real fashion show there before.
It will change.
Next month, Preston will present his fall 2023 collection for the first time on the runway at New York Fashion Week.
Although he organized the presentation of the Department of Sanitation collection in New York in 2016, like many American designers, he decided to jump over the pond and show it in Paris starting in 2017.
“It was a gradual build that culminated in a runway show,” he said. He initially presented his line on models in a showroom, but progressed to more elaborate presentations such as one held in a carpenter’s shop before moving on to a “proper runway show”.
Now it’s time to go home. “I live in New York and the city was just calling me – and I didn’t want to travel,” Preston said with a laugh.
So instead of showing off in Europe, he decided to immerse himself in his hometown, which he considers “full of inspiration” and a place that has defined his “personal journey” as a designer.
In addition, Preston has a huge fanbase in the form of friends and family in New York who could only watch his programs on their computer screens. “Now is the time to bring energy back to New York and celebrate with them here.”
In an upcoming show, the designer said he expects many New York references, including archetypes like the workwear the brand has become known for. “I look at the city as a uniform and the people there as a student community,” Preston said. “So you’re going to see pieces in the collection that are very New York.”
The line will also feature HPNY graphics and logos that “reflect the city. I really want to push the idea of a uniform and a new youthful expression.”
Preston said he will be introducing a new version of his popular 3D-printed sneakers he created with German firm Zellerfeld, as well as “found-and-found-inspired” looks with American references such as college jackets and patchwork jeans. There will also be some items with heavy chain mail, and he said he would “continue the linen story.”
Showing in New York, Preston is defying the trend of other American designers like Emily Bode and John Elliott who have abandoned the States for Paris. No wonder he is welcomed with open arms by the Council of Fashion Designers of America.
“The CFDA is pleased to welcome Heron Preston to the official NYFW schedule, reflecting New York City’s growing importance as a global center of creativity and commerce,” said Steven Kolb, CFDA CEO. “Heron’s homegrown talent has been showcased on international stages and we are thrilled to have him here and be part of the collective strength of American Collections next month.”
Preston, however, did not say whether he would continue to perform in New York in the future. “I can’t confirm if this is a one-off or long-term, but I’m looking forward to seeing how New York responds.”