With cracked concrete floors, plaster white columns and exposed ceiling wirings, the venue made the perfect space for Heron Preston’s Fall/Winter 2023 show – offering a blend of industrialist utilitarianism that mirrors the brand’s style. But Preston’s latest represented more than just another presentation, it was the San Francisco native’s first fashion show during New York Fashion Week.
Since establishing his eponymous label in 2017, Preston has put on a host of shows during Paris Fashion Week no less. So Preston’s NYFW debut coming after years of increasing popularity appears almost in reverse order, but the designer made sure the moment would be memorable for several reasons. Almost serving as a homecoming, the FW23 show underscores the life and community Preston has built in New York City over nearly two decades. But one thing that stood out about this show, in particular, was Preston’s decision to make sure everyone was a part of the experience.
“It’s like the city was calling me. I’ve lived here since 24 and there’s just a bunch of friends and family that haven’t been to any of my fashion shows ever,” said Preston. “This is what has inspired me. The city. I look at this as more of an event to bring my friends and family together. I think it’s time to just reconnect with the community.”
Opening the show was a group of guys dressed in orange construction vests who spray-painted a series of walking paths in shades of cobalt blue, deep orange, red and white. As the models maneuvered in varied formations across the space, it was clear that Preston’s vision for both FW23 and the future is one of utilitarian style circularity. His signature streetwear style still stood tall through varied cuts, graphic detailing and easy layering. But what is increasingly becoming more experimental is Preston’s catalog of fabrics and textures.
Menswear highlights included an acid green denim jacket, a relaxed deep charcoal leather bomber with security patches, an oversized workwear jacket with distressed detailing, motocross shirts and a rugged black padded suit. Womenswear highlights took form in an eye-catching silver chainmail dress, a silk eggshell dress, a deep blue and black cropped coordinating set in leather and a black tweed top and mini skirt set.
Preston’s fusion of street, motocross and security styles was enhanced with eye-catching textures like furry black thigh-high boots, ankle-length fur coats and additional chainmail pieces. Previous collections showed a deep love for the brand’s signature orange hue – typically bathing multiple pieces in the shade. This time, Preston strayed from overusing the color and opted for subtle inserts whether it be a sneaker-striped detail or a calm graphic alongside the brand’s staple orange clothing tag. For the multihyphenate creative, this collection served as a confirmation of his design philosophy and staying committed to presenting it in the best form. A form that doesn’t recur a bunch of frills, but thrives on consistency.
“I really identified archetypes or styles that really make sense for me. With jackets, I’ve narrowed it down to just a bomber, puffer and a worker jacket. As far as just like fleece, there’s the elastic sweatpants, open legs sweatpants and some fleece shorts. That’s the core and then you look at jersey short sleeve tees. Boom. It doesn’t have to be too much, but then you start to build from there,” said Preston. “I need to have a very focused approach to what we’re doing, so there’s just no question. I feel like that kind of consistency is kind of what kind of keeps brands going.”
Take a look at Heron Preston’s FW23 collection in the gallery above.