"I'm looking at the world as it is here in New York City and identifying style codes, pieces, and archetypes that relate to me as a designer," Heron Preston explained over a late August Zoom call.
Like his Spring/Summer 2022 collection, Heron Preston Fall/Winter 2022 is an unraveling of the designer's newest innovations, filtering them through a lens of familiar motifs. Ripe with HP classics like that safety orange hue and eco-conscious manufacturing, Preston's elevated workwear simultaneously evokes authentic familiarity and fresh adventurousness.
One small step for fashion and one giant leap for Heron Preston, his FW22 collection is arguably the most refined Heron Preston offering yet, made clear from both the garments themselves and the thoughtful imagery.
Visuals speak (and move) for themselves as London-based photographer Gabriel Moses connects noteworthy pieces, like the fireman jacket, through motion and sheer humanity.
But how to keep it real while pushing the envelope? Heron Preston explains.
Highsnobiety: How would you describe Heron Preston FW22?
Heron Preston: It's an extension of HP's DNA. It's nothing more, nothing less than what I've been establishing over the past couple of years.
It's more of an exercise of style, less fashion. I always like to make that distinction, hence the recurring Russian logo Стиль, which translates to "style."
Walk me through the creative process behind the collection.
I've found this familiar language within this space that we all understand. This comes from a place of using fashion as a tool to invite people into this world, like a welcome mat.
When I first started doing collections, I only wanted to design crazy, standout pieces. Now, I'm moving more into this space of essential but elevated.
I get bored quickly of looking at the same stuff all the time, So it's like, all right, how do we shake this up? How do we create something that feels new and exciting again?
For example, you'll see reflective tape throughout the collection, like ones you'll find on the back of semi trucks and used for safety. I ripped that tape and put it on the collection's fireman jackets, corsets, and knee-high boots.
It's not about being precious. It's about having this layer of authenticity to make the design feel real. I personally connect this realness, and there's more of this human connection to the pieces you're wearing.
How is the theme brought to life in the campaign?
We worked with Gabriel Moses, one of my favorite photographers. It was his first time here in New York. So, I had him come here a day or two in advance to soak up the city's energy because I wanted him to channel New York City vibes.
In the past, I felt my models were really stiff, and the photos lacked this human connection. So, we had a movement director come on set who helped create natural stances in the photos.
It was really about the movement, capturing the nuance of how humans move and bring those pieces to life.
Tell me about some of the pieces you consider key to the collection.
There's a knee-high boot made out of Tyvek that I'm really excited about. Then, this padded tee is also new to the collection. There's also the introduction of women's underwear.
It's also about preserving authenticity. We have this long fireman jacket in the collection, where we maintain those details but add the HP twist to it.
There are several Ex-Ray products with the unique Ex-Ray label, which indicates the piece is hitting the highest level of LED, or "Less Environmentally Destructive" attributes. That's like my version of sustainability.
Instead of X-ray, it's spelled E-X-R-A-Y. It plays with the idea of setting an example and identifying environmental solutions for the fashion industry.
What's the future of Heron Preston looking like?
My focus right now is efficiency, consistency, and organization.
I'm also looking at establishing icons. When you think about the greatest brands in a fashion that people continue to flock to, they all have icons. I did a big project with Calvin Klein, and their icon is underwear. And when looking at other brands, their icon might be a handbag or a pair of jeans.
But, what is the Heron Preston icon? I'm not really sure yet.
I'm really trying to focus on establishing icons and staying true to who I am so I can also be one of those long-lasting names.