Dao-Yi Chow is the co-founder of leading American menswear label Public School. Chow founded Public School with Maxwell Osborne in 2008, the New York city born and bred pair having met as designers working at leading menswear label Sean John. Whilst Osborne grew up in Brooklyn, Chow was raised in a neighbourhood of Queens known as ‘Little India’, and it is these distinctly earthy and urban roots that shine through in their Public School collections. This is further helped by the fact that unlike many of their contemporaries, Chow and Osborne do not have a great academic background in fashion, their skills being learnt in the real world rather than the classroom. “We are both untrained in the classic sense and cut our teeth on the job” said Chow. “But more importantly…we relate to fashion the way we relate to our existence in New York City”.
New York City runs through each and every Public School collection, both Chow and Osborne wanting each and every piece to have a credible NYC DNA, and one of the ways they ensure this is by incorporating New York’s ethnic diversity through the use of only the finest Italian, Japanese and American fabrics. These fabrics are combined, blended and fused by themselves in New York City itself, their designs mirroring the ethnic melting pot that New York City is, and always has been.
Such innovation has seen Chow and Osborne’s Public School become one of the world’s leading menswear labels, and has seen them nominated and win several prestigious awards and honours, including being chosen as the only menswear brand to be part of the CFDA’s Fashion Incubator Business Development Programme in 2010, winning the CFDA Swarovski Award for Menswear and the Vogue/CFDA Fashion Fund Award, both in 2013.
Chow and Osborne continue to work closely together on their Public School collections, and their designs can be bought in boutiques and department stores worldwide, including Harvey Nichols, Barney’s New York and Louis Boston.