Designer Spotlight: The Rise Of Heron Preston
Heron Preston has paid his dues. Like many who have achieved success in fashion, the designer started out working thankless jobs and hustling personal projects on the side. Preston moved from his native San Francisco to New York City, in order to earn his degree from Parsons in 2004. After school, he gained notoriety for his blog, where he documented the city’s downtown scene. He eventually connected with future Off-White designer, Virgil Abloh, who was also contributing to a blog at the time. From there, Preston worked at Nike as a digital producer and eventually for Kanye West as an art director.
At the same time, Preston was also DJing at parties and selling his cult “bootleg” T-shirts, all covered in an array of brand logos, on Instagram. At one point, for a Yeezy fashion show, he spent long nights vacuum-sealing 800 jackets with West’s preferred, scrunched-up look, which would serve as invitations. His experiences in marketing and creative definitely influenced the branding and graphics of his self-titled line.
Helping The Planet
While working for Yeezy, Preston learned that the clothing industry is the second-largest polluter on the planet. “I didn’t want to contribute to that,” he said at the time. “I love designing, but I wanted to do better. We should all be doing better.”
After an array of prominent collaborations, Preston presented his first, eponymous collection in 2017. Although he has enjoyed mainstream success since, he remains committed to both authentic style and environmentally conscious design.
In 2019, HP unveiled a pilot program to explore alternatives for plastic polybags. Limited-edition pouches were crafted from sustainably sourced wood pulp and emblazoned with an original design.
Along with his signature, carrot-orange hue and artful interpretations of the Heron bird, Preston is well known for his “Стиль” logo, which translates to “style” in Cryllic. Russia has been a frequent theme for the designer, who launched his debut collection at a pop-up shop in Moscow.
“I loved it,” he says, when asked about launching retail in Russia. “I normally would have taken a more traditional approach with the launch, and launched in New York. I was just into the idea of [it] being different from a typical launch, and it just made sense. And it's just interesting to get out there and share culture.”
When it comes to designing, Preston’s ethos continues to place people over politics. He continues, “It's about the street, the kids, and connecting with culture."