Designer Heron Preston showed his third womenswear and menswear collection for his eponymous brand, titled “Public Figure,” an aesthetic riff on influencer culture and self-declared celebrity. For inspiration, Preston decided to play with observations of his surroundings on the “influencer jet stream,” a term for the highly attended cultural churn of annual events, from Art Basel in Miami to global fashion weeks (one can find a list of such events printed on a shirt in the collection under a sparkling crystal globe). In our current culture, “Public Figure” is a title one can select for oneself on Instagram, and the patterns and proclamations of these “Public Figures” are present in the details of Preston’s Fall/Winter 2018 collection.
Graphics in the new collection bestow pseudo-titles like “Influencer” and “Public Figure”, a playful take on the intensely curated self-display that we see en masse on social media, meant to be worn and made visible in meta-context. The labels appear across the front of camouflage pants—with a new take on the print that focuses on leaves with rich colors—as well as on denim jackets and polos. “If you buy a polo from Heron Preston you are an influencer,” the designer jokes. “Who is to argue that?”
For this season, Preston merges his covetable workwear aesthetic with new luxury materials, introducing a range of new accessories, including handbags, footwear, and eyewear. The first Heron Preston handbag, The Canal Bag, is a dual flap shoulder bag with snakeskin and calf-hair, designed with two pockets and a bright orange Heron Preston branded strap and complemented by the brand’s eye-catching orange pull tab with “Pull” instruction playfully printed on it. A construction inspired thick sole boot comes in snakeskin, black and camouflage printed leather, with the “Style” logo printed in red. The collection also introduces sunglasses, with tortoiseshell and rose, black, and red and orange colorways with branding on the frame, inspired by glasses Preston was gifted (as an influencer, naturally) and wore himself. All branding, from the silver embossed Made In Italy to the signature orange label and serial numbers appear on the outside of accessories in the collection.
Womenswear offerings continue to evolve in this collection, which includes a snakeskin leather dress, crushed velvet bodysuits, and for the first time, women’s suiting, with a two-tone oversize blazer and skirt. Preston also worked with luxury shearling and faux fur for the first time, letting elevated materials have a playful dialogue with his workwear influence. A crystal application of the “СТИЛЬ” logo updates Preston’s signature for Fall/Winter 2018.
Fall/Winter 2018 also marks the debut of Heron Preston’s NASA collection, an idea the designer teased in December 2013 when he appeared in a Styles Section piece in the New York Times under the headline, The Street Wear Designer Heron Preston Has His Eyes on NASA. This season, which coincides with the space agency’s 60th anniversary, Preston’s self-declared dream collaboration will be a reality.
The Heron Preston NASA capsule is a NASA-inspired collection that taps on the agency’s authentic 1975 logo, which consists of the word “NASA” in a unique type style, nicknamed the “worm.” The NASA “worm” logo, originally discontinued in 1992, is resurrected with Preston’s FW18 collection. Inspired by the outer layer of Extravehicular Mobility Units, or spacesuits, Preston interprets the iconic uniform in the form of a 3M nylon space jacket, a silver denim logo jacket, and a multifunctional convertible backpack (which can also be worn as a fanny pack or tote bag). The collection is branded with “fall/winter 1990” as an homage to the former logo.
Rounding off the Fall/Winter 2018 collection, Heron Preston introduces a new collaboration with Carhartt WIP. Early in his career, Preston re-worked and styled vintage Carhartt WIP jackets for his website, and the brand’s iconic canvas workwear remains essential to the Heron Preston DNA. This new collection will combine the classic canvas with Preston’s crystal “СТИЛЬ” logo, a high fashion stamp on utilitarian garments.
The collaboration includes a fanny pack, beanie, jacket, vest and pants, all treated and paint splattered for a deep wear look, and accented with Heron Preston’s signature orange trim. The treatment marks Preston’s reverence to workwear as functional protective layers, capturing a moment in the clothing’s life that makes it striking.