Friday, September 5, 2014


AOL Build Speaker Series kicks off NYFW with a fashion series featuring Zac Posen, Public School and the duo behind Saturday Brands

CDFA winners Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne of Public School and multi-tasking multi-media marketing duo Jens Grede & Erik Torstensson of Saturday Brands share a suitable commonality--strong partnerships with compelling achievements in fashion. Kicking off NYFW 2015, AOL BUILD focuses its spotlight on fashion, inviting a handful of industry leaders to share their success stories. Host Kinvara Balfour moderates two conversations Wednesday evening, charming her subjects and addressing topics central to the BUILD program, which encourages viewers to "Build your mind, your network, your knowledge, your perspective" [source].

Kinvara Balfour interviews Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne of Public School

Growing up in NYC has its challenges. As survivors, designers Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne based their brand on the NYC public school experience, with exposure to a convergence of differences. After working together at Sean Jean, Chow and Osborne decided to turn conceptually unique in 2008. As the current superstars of style, the duo attributes success to early independence and subsequently, the mentorship and resources afforded by participation in the CFDA incubator. Winning the Vogue fashion fund didn't hurt either. Compounding collaborations, a staff of six and an experimental women's line are rapidly adding to the validated accomplishments of Chow and Osorne's curriculum vitae. At this rate, the duo's aspiration towards a Public School brick-and-mortar store may not be too far in the future.

In response to a question of what has changed as a result of their recent sucesses, Dao-Yi notes,"Nothing really has changed…. It's probably just changed for the people around us--all the people who really believed in us sort of from the beginning--like our factories, and our staff and our family; people who really sacrificed their time and effort alongside of our individual dreams.…When we win, it feels like everyone has won as well." 

View the complete conversation here

Jens Grede is next in the hot seat

Jens Grede of Saturday Group, serves as a stimulating second act Wednesday evening at AOL's NYC Headquarters. Though partner-in-crime Erik Torstensson is absent (from illness), Grede aptly represents "the world's leading fashion marketing group…. active in the areas of creative, digital, e-commerce, publicity, licensing, sales & distribution, talent brokering and brand management" [source]. With a little of everything and not too much of anything, the brand's philosophy is evidence of its wide-reaching portfolio (from Calvin Klein ads to Frame Denim to Industrie Magazine and more). Grede attributes his great success to "being able to fail and learn from my mistakes and fail again." 

View the complete conversation here; below are a few memorable excerpts...

Kinvara: When you do come through the immigration place and they ask you to put something on the form, I think it's really hard--I think you have to create new words for multitasking--would you call it polymath Would you call it a catalyst? Would you call yourself a strategist? There has to be a new word.

Jens: Both Erik and I--we are creatives. He's very visually creative…. What I would say is that it sounds like its all really like different stuff--and in a way it is--but it's just a different medium of the same expression. We have a very clear aesthetic.

On Teamwork, Jens saysI'm lucky enough to find talented people to work with….It's a team effort. What I lend-- and what Erik lends to it--it's a taste, it's an opinion, it's a vision and it's an experience….You've got to work with incredible people and your team is everything. It's absolutely everything…. An A idea with a B team is gonna be a C result. But a C idea with an A team is gonna be a great success. The team is everything.

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