If fashion had a fantasy league, it would probably look like today’s panel at Fast Company, where Instagram’s Eva Chen fielded questions with Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough, the designers of Proenza Schouler.
The trio discussed their most popular posts, the real value of “influencers,” and a dude who knits pizza-shaped hats. (Really.)
But if you didn’t make the Innovation Festival event, we’ve got you covered. Scroll through for the top five things we learned.
1. Labels Are Changing Their Designs to Look Better on Instagram
“It’s not just about the clothes anymore,” says Hernandez, “it’s about what you’re designing looking good on a screen. You’re designing differently. Clothes are a little stiffer as a result… with more color… Black clothes look not as great on a screen. Vogue famously doesn’t shoot black clothes because the details get lost. You think along those lines. We love black clothes, but [their Instagram appearance] does cross our mind.”
2. But Fashion Shows Have Always Been Crazy
“People love to complain that Instagram has made everything different,” laughs Chen, “But that’s exaggerated. Marc Jacobs had a marching band with confetti going down the runway way before Instagram existed. McQueen had butterfly headpieces… incredible showmanship existed before the Internet. Now, more people are getting to see it.”
3. Your Random Brunch Post Might End Up on a Designer Mood Board
“When we first started designing, we used to go to the New York Public Library to do research on our inspirations,” McCollough told the audience. “But [hashtags] have really changed the game… We’ve been using [hashtags] as a search engine… we go into Internet K-holes, start searching for one thing, and end up discovering an artist or a trend we didn’t even know about. Then we do a screenshot of images we like, print it directly from our computer, and tape it to the wall.”
4. The “Perfect Post” Breaking Point is Here
“We all know people and their Instagram feeds feel one way, and you see them in real life, and they’re totally different,” Chen sighs. “It’s hard, because I’m like, how long can you keep up this life and this persona? There’s always a breaking point… Five years ago, when Instagram started, you’d post a picture of your bike and say, ‘going on a bike ride!’’ Now, it’s a vintage bike sourced from a store in Brooklyn, the girl is biking in heels, her hair is done professionally—and I’m starting to see [in successful posts] a return to people being real… telling your own story, the real story, is the most important thing. But that’s not just Instagram advice. It’s life advice.”
5. Proenza Schouler Is Officially Launching a Perfume
“We believe one brand can have a huge range and price point,” Hernandez says, “We make T-shirts for a hundred bucks and we make a $20,000 dress… all of that exists in one label, and we’re working with L’Oreal on a perfume, too. It’s happening in 2016, 2017… so in like a year.”