Skip to content
subscribe
Account
SEARCH

Categories

LASTEST

Heron Preston x Sami Miro Vintage

Heron Preston on Harnessing the Power of Fashion to Design a Better Future

Katy Donoghue

10 November 2020

Last spring, Heron Preston and Sami Miro Vintage released an upcycled, sustainable collection in collaboration, “Natural Disaster.” Addressing the climate crisis, it featured reworked denim, silks, organza, and knitwear in dresses, suits, sweatsuits, T-shirts, and jackets.

Preston’s eponymous label has long raised awareness around the need for sustainability in fashion. Driven by a personal love of nature, including U.S. national parks, and the unavoidable knowledge of his industry’s negative impact on the environment, he sees each new collection as an investigation into how we can do better with design. The designer shared with Whitewall how surprisingly responsive his digital following has been to sustainably focused initiatives, and what that means for the future.

Heron Preston

Portrait of Heron Preston by Vincenzo Sassu.

WHITEWALL: What made you interested in working with Sami Miro on “Natural Disaster”?

HERON PRESTON: I love Sami’s process, her vision, her philosophy of recycling and reusing vintage clothing and materials, upcycling and reconstructing. Sami exemplifies the intersection of people who practice sustainable design and production but do it through the lens of culture—that’s always the real challenge. If you look at sustainability or eco-friendly product in the past, it has always been lacking the cool factor. So I think she kind of checked the boxes of many things that I value.

Heron Preston x Sami Miro Vintage

“Natural Disaster” by Heron Preston and Sami Miro Vintage.

The conversation started with womenswear, but then we decided to introduce some menswear as well. We were looking at some of my past collections and some pieces that I had in stock, deciding how to upcycle and remix some of my designs through her process of cutting up, deconstructing and piecing it back together, making it sexier and brand new.

WW: What kind of message did you want the collection to send about environmental impact?

Heron Preston x Sami Miro Vintage

“Natural Disaster” by Heron Preston and Sami Miro Vintage.

HP: I think fashion can be used to move culture and develop solutions. I think using my platform to put a voice behind something that I actually care about is important. I want to continue my journey of continuing to push the investigation of environmental solutions and inviting people into my world to help me tell that story. Sami is part of the journey amongst many innovators and collaborators that I have worked with and that I want to work with. Every collection and every season I want to continue this journey and allow my curiosity drive the investigation.

WW: Sustainability has been at the heart of the collection since its inception. Why is that?

Heron Preston x Sami Miro Vintage

“Natural Disaster” by Heron Preston and Sami Miro Vintage.

HP: For me, it’s simply that I care about the environment and I’m fascinated with innovation. I grew up going on camping trips and ski trips, volunteering at museums in San Francisco, and developed a relationship with nature. There are so many amazing national parks around and outdoor activities. Once I did the New York Department of Sanitation project, I realized the impact that the fashion and apparel industry had on the environment. I figured out that what I was involved in, and contributing to, was destroying the very thing that I love so much. I realized that I needed to  be involved in discovering new solutions instead of being another brand that does not care.

There is too much information out there about fashion’s impact to ignore. I have this guilty conscience, like where does all of this stuff go? And when it gets there, then what happens? Well, I started to look into it, and learn about it. It’s terrible, but there are better ways, newer ways, of doing all of this stuff, and there are tools that exist. Once I started to realize this, I had no choice but to act.

Heron Preston x Sami Miro Vintage

“Natural Disaster” by Heron Preston and Sami Miro Vintage.

WW: How are you seeing the consumer respond to sustainable initiatives?

HP: I think consumers, specifically my consumers, know that sustainability initiatives are part of my process, so they are always engaged. It’s cool to have this direct connection with people, because I can get instant feedback. For me, it’s authentic and has been the foundation of my thinking of the collection since day one.

Heron Preston x Sami Miro Vintage

“Natural Disaster” by Heron Preston and Sami Miro Vintage.

I think the crescendo in all of this was when I had recently posted about the Unfuck the World T-shirt, which was an edit of a Supreme T-shirt with Heron Preston branding. It was packed with a ton of meaning. I found some secondhand “Fuck the World” T-shirts, and embroidered “UN” in front of “Fuck.”

I asked my Instagram followers to comment how they would unfuck the world for a chance to win one of the T-shirts. The idea was not only about reusing materials in fashion, but a bigger concept about doing what you can within your control to get involved in things you care about. The result was thousands of passionate and inspiring comments from people around the world, voicing what they care about and what they personally do. I have nearly 600,000 followers, but I never get nearly that many comments. I was like, where the hell did all of these people come from? I was surprised.

Heron Preston x Sami Miro Vintage

“Natural Disaster” by Heron Preston and Sami Miro Vintage.

WW: What role can fashion play in the current moment?

HP: Slowing down. Promote positive change. Advance developments in technology. Get involved in health. Don’t turn this into a trend. Show the youth there’s more to love. Preserve culture. Harness the power of fashion to design a better future.

Heron Preston x Sami Miro Vintage

“Natural Disaster” by Heron Preston and Sami Miro Vintage.

SAME AS TODAY

FURTHER READING

The View at The Palm Opens in Dubai with Human-Centric Purpose

Whitewall spoke with John Bricker of Gensler about The View at The Palm in Dubai.

Louis Fratino Finds Power in Images of What We Love

Louis Fratino spoke with Whitewall about keeping the studio a space free from fear of failure.

The BMW Neue Klasse Looks to an All-Electric Future

The BMW Neue Klasse is a statement piece for a new era: design language that references classic BMW for its soon-to-be all-electric lineup.

FUTURA2000 x Virgil Abloh: Communicating Layers of Culture for a New Generation

As the pair first connected digitally, it felt fitting that Whitewall connected with Virgil Abloh and FUTURA2000 via Zoom to hear why now is not a time for relaxing.

Ini Archibong Designs in the Flow State

Whitewall spoke with the Switzerland-based designer Ini Archibong about diving into the archives of heritage houses, as well as embarking on a new studio concept, LMNO.

IN THIS ARTICLE

Topics

LOCATION

SUBSCRIBE TO MAGAZINE

Kelly Wearstler

THE WINTER EXPERIENCE ISSUE
2023

Subscribe

SUBSCRIBE TO NEWSLETTER

Go inside the worlds of Art, Fashion, Design and Lifestyle.

READ THIS NEXT

As the pair first connected digitally, it felt fitting that Whitewall connected with Virgil Abloh and FUTURA2000 via Zoom to hear why now is not a time for relaxing.
Whitewall spoke with the Switzerland-based designer Ini Archibong about diving into the archives of heritage houses, as well as embarking on a new studio concept, LMNO.

SUBSCRIBE TO NEWSLETTER

Go inside the worlds
of Art, Fashion, Design,
and Lifestyle.