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The Public School Guys Love Miami, Exclusive Collabs, and Joe's Stone Crab

Public School might rep New York hard, but the CFDA-approved brand actually got its start in the Magic City.

Photo: Erik Voake/Red Bull Content Pool
Photo: Erik Voake/Red Bull Content Pool

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Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne are by far the busiest fashion personalities in town during Miami Music Week. The designers behind Public School landed in Miami to launch their "Tropic City Pack," a super exclusive capsule collection that's being gifted, not sold, only to guests staying at The Red Bull Guest House this year.

In fact, when we arrived to interview the duo, Khloe Kardashian had just left the gifting suite with on-and-off again beau French Montana, right before Osborne and Chow were whisked off in a black SUV to a business meeting in Brickell. Needless to say, we hopped in the car to chat with them en route.

Describe Public School in a nutshell.
Dao-Yi Chow: Public School is just two new York boys who are living the dream and trying to make the most of every opportunity that comes our way.

Tell us about your exclusive collection for the Red Bull Guest House.
Chow: We've been working with Red Bull for a while now and we know Winter Music Conference is one of their big, big initiatives, and music for us is always a big inspiration. And we sort of, kind of have roots down here in Miami. I used to have a store here which was really the birth of Public School. It was cool to sort of reconnect New York and Miami together.
Maxwell Osborne: It's the perfect little gift package. If you come in and didn't have a t-shirt or swimming trunks or a bag, you've totally got one. It's just a giveaway. We did a pair of sneakers with Jordan, which are limited to 100 pairs, so only 100 people in the world will have these sneakers. We're hoping they don't go on eBay...

Could we see a Miami-inspired collection in the future?
Chow: I guess when a collection gets big enough. The thing about us is that we're always inspired by these major cities, especially hubs like Miami. So, Miami's always been like a backyard for us in terms for the U.S. to be able to leave the city for two or three days. Public School is sort of the crossroads of fashion, music, just culture in general. So Miami's one of those cities.

So, potentially? Maybe?
Chow: Right [laughs].

So not many people know that Public School has roots in Miami, like you mentioned. Tell us about your shop.
Chow: We opened in 2005 on 16th and Collins. It was called Arrive. It was really a concept shop mixing high and low. We had brands like Margiela, Watanabe, and then we'd mix that with brands like Supreme, Stussy, Nike. We were really the first store in the U.S. to carry Supreme outside of the Supreme shop... It was a store with everything that interests us, not just clothes but books, apothecary, accessories, sneakers of course. That's really what Public School is. It's a combination of high and low concepts. Mixing street with luxury, all these influences.

So that was ten years ago you opened. How do you feel about Miami now?
Chow: It's grown a lot. You have stores like The Webster, Alchemist, Apt 606- stores that would have never been able to exist back then, which is kind of what we tried to do with Arrive. I think culturally, people look at Miami as more than just this party town, especially the art scene. It's definitely grown.

Would you ever consider opening a store here?
Chow: In Miami? Maybe!

What acts and parties are you most looking forward to at Miami Music Week?

Chow: I'm looking forward to this Breakfast Club thing that Red Bull does from 2 to 7am in the morning. I don't know if I'll make it, but I'm looking forward to it. But also Little Wayne is performing...

What is one thing you can't leave Miami without doing?
Osborne:
I cannot leave Miami without swimming in the ocean. That's the first thing I do. Then I try to get a crab leg in at Joe's Stone Crab.
Chow: I can't leave without having brunch at Michael's Genuine.
Osborne: When are you doing that?Chow: Sunday.

What's next on the agenda for you guys?Osborne: We're gearing up for this inaugural men's fashion week, which is interesting. It's the first time New york is doing this. They do it in every other country, but never in New York.