Daniel Kramer - Fashion

A closer look: The development of Heron Preston

Mar 08, 2021

Starting up and succeeding in the fashion industry is not an easy thing. With so much demand and talent on the market, standing out from the crowd can be a challenging thing. As history has shown, a lot of famous designers today have had a hard start. 

The same is the story with Heron Preston. Like many others, this designer has also started out working a lot of thankless jobs and dealing with personal projects on the side. Born and leaving in San Francisco, Preston decided to move to New York City to earn his degree from Parsons. That was back in 2004. After finishing school, he gained some popularity over his blog where he documented the city's downtown scene. At that time, one famous face today was helping him out with the blog. It was Virgil Abloh, the future Off-White designer. The career and the path lead Preston to work with Nike as a digital producer and eventually for Kanye West as an art director. 

At that same time, Preston was also working as DJ at parties and selling his "bootleg" T-shirts. What was so special about these shirts was that they were covered in an array of brand logos. The sales were going on Instagram. What the designer mentions as part of his fashion journey was the Yeezy fashion show. The night before it, he spends long hours vacuum-sealing 800 jackets with West's preferred look, that would be sent as an invitation. That and many other experiences in marketing have influenced him into branding and establishing his own brand that carries his name. 

Sustainability as the future of fashion

While he was still working for Yeezy, Preston discovered that the fashion industry is one of the greatest polluters of the environment. Looking back on his beginnings and the concept of sustainability, that movement has greatly affected his design process and business practices. The difference between the first collection and the latest ones is visible, especially pushing and challenging his teams to source more environmentally responsible materials. For example, cotton uses a lot of water. Another thing is the packaging that he tries to stay away from because it ends up being a waste. His sustainability consciousness is followed by different projects for raising awareness, which proves to be an influential and positive thing. He is also an inspiration for many kids that send their sustainable designs and ideas. Somehow, that awareness has grown into an association of Preston's brand with sustainability, and eventually become the most rewarding part of the entire fashion journey and dedication. That is the impact that only one fashion brand can have over the community and the active work results in a direct impact on the environment. 

What also makes Preston stand out is thinking outside of the box in terms of exploring more sustainable business practices and develop a sustainable business model. All work comes into little projects that are recycled and put back into use. Caring for and respecting the environment is a great way to commit yourself to sustainability. It shows the strength and the growth of the brand while making products and reducing the environmental impact. The products that come out from the Heron Preston brand go back to earth. 

Sportswear, luxury, and sustainability

Fashion is an industry that provides many possibilities and challenges and everything goes, just as sportswear, luxury, and sustainability can be combined. There are so many options that new rules can be written and achievements come in design and fashion, and with the right kind of support, Preston works into supporting different ideas and new ways of working. 

Russian vibes

Preston is known for his "Style" logo that comes in Cyrillic and is specially made for the Russian market. As the designer has mentioned many times, Russia has been an inspiration for the designer many times, especially considering that he launched his debut collection at a pop-up shop in Moscow. As most of the designers take the safe approach and launching their collection in the USA, NY in particular, Preston decided to change the game and do something different from a typical launch and it sort of made sense for the designer. It was a nice way to share the culture with fashion and do something different. 

On the new fashion 

Preston defines the word fashion as an endless growth and profit leading to increased turnover. With so much accent on sustainability and the new concepts that are coming on the scene, it is somehow inevitable for the word fashion and the new fashion to find a new word. All the values are being challenged as well as the storytelling. Fashion is not about following the rules, it is about breaking them and composing new styles and looks that will make history. Authenticity comes with new approaches. Another thing that might become a new trend, inspired by Preston is seasonless clothes. This comes closely connected to sustainability, and as the designer has said many times, fewer clothes help the sustainability process. So in terms of seasonless designs, he is thinking of going for only one collection a year. That adds the special and the original tone of luxury to make and creates that you are feeling good about. According to Preston, seasonless is a thing and it might easily become a reality too. 

When it comes to designing, Preston continues to place people over politics. His forever inspiration and ambition will be the street, the kids, and connecting with culture. 

(Source: GQ)

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