If you don’t know the names Amiri, Fear of God, and Heron Preston, you’re missing out on a whole new definition of luxury—one that includes dope sneakers, graphic hoodies, and painstakingly mutilated jeans.
Heron Preston has the best résumé in streetwear: He started out designing $50 Tupac T-shirts as a teenager, then went to design school, graduated to Nike, and made tour merch for Kanye before starting his own line. These days his aggressively populist graphic tees sell at N.Y.C. menswear temples like Barneys and Bergdorf. “Kids recognize they don’t have to be pigeonholed,” Preston says. “They wear Louis Vuitton or Gucci with Heron Preston. They mix and match highs and lows and create a whole new space.”
GQ: I wonder about your logo, which is in Russian letters. To what extent does it even matter what it says? Are those letters just shapes when you use them in that context?
Heron Preston: Yeah, for someone who can’t read Russian or understand the Cyrillic alphabet, it just becomes a graphic and artwork: a logo and a shape. And then obviously for people who can read it, it means style. But the kids who wear Gosha, they can’t read any of the Russian he puts on his clothes. It’s more about the lifestyle. It’s all about the marketing and the branding behind the clothing.
GQ: I was thinking about Demna, too, with his DHL tee. My interpretation of that was: Any logo is just as valuable, or not valuable, as any other logo. It could be Nike, it could be DHL, it could be Louis Vuitton.
HP: For sure. It kind of reminds me of how the IKEA logo is really taking off right now: Kids are cutting up the bags and turning them into hats, or they’re taking the straps and they’re sewing them down the side of their denim and turning that into trim for their pants. Where is that coming from? Is it because Balenciaga did the IKEA shape with one of their bags, and now kids are obsessed with IKEA? Is their reference point not IKEA but Balenciaga?
GQ: I’m fascinated with the way you use safety orange, that particular shade of orange. Where does your fascination with that color come from?
HP: It came from me purchasing a pair of orange sweatpants one day: I just really fell in love with the color, and all my references to construction sites and Department of Sanitation New York, those were my reference points. Then I started to wear the color, and I was like, “This is my color.” It became kind of like my signature color. You’ll see all my labels are orange now throughout my whole entire collection. And you’ll see a lot of orange garments as well, season after season after season.
GQ: For some guys that color might be scary to wear. How do you wear that color?
HP: Well, it’s not exactly a neon orange. It’s a wearable orange. [laughs]
Be on the look out for #CaliWoodAndCo Season 3 – It’s on the way 💯🙌🏻🐻