A 36-year-old fashion prodigy, Heron Preston is the founder and creative director/designer for his namesake brand.
But there is so much more to this creative genius: he is also an artist, a DJ, and a successful entrepreneur. Do you remember the 2015 bomb, the pair of Nike Air Force 1s stripped of their Nike Swoosh logos which were replaced with retired vintage Gucci material in the shape of the iconic BAPE motif, that freaked the fashion world out by blending brands and eras? Or the infamous collaboration with Kanye West on “The Life of Pablo” which drove the Internet world crazy? Both of those creative executions were from the mind of Heron, who says he was inspired purely by curiosity.
Heron Preston Johnson – 04.18.1983 (Image via Grailed)
Curiosity has played a starring role in Heron’s artistic adventures as well as throughout his life. Born and raised in San Francisco’s Bay Area, Heron Preston Johnson grew up skating and spending a lot of time surfing the Internet. At junior high, he revealed his artistic creativity through a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation campaign where he started to add prints to old t-shirts. Heron once said he would rather recycle and sell old tees than become a fashion designer, in part because of his love of skateboard culture.
In 2004, Heron moved to New York and attended Parsons School of Design. He started a blog, posting in the style of downtown New York youth and which was later discovered by Al Moran, the founder of OHWOW contemporary art gallery. About that time, he was offered a publishing deal, producing a coffee-book called “The Young and Banging” which was immediately blasted.
Meanwhile, Heron had attracted the attention of Nike, lured by his mix of fashion awareness, street-culture cred, and creativity. After he graduated from Parsons School of Design Heron joined Nike as a marketing specialist before taking the role of Global Digital Producer for NikeLab.
The Young And The Banging (2008) by Heron Preston
Heron’s fame continued to rise when he teamed up with Virgil Abloh of OFFWHITE. As both men are successful DJs and creative geniuses, they instantly found the common ground. BEEN TRILL was born, a creative collaboration that built a loyal following through a Tumblr page, throwing parties, designing streetwear and collaborating with celebrities like Rihanna and A$AP Rocky. Heron Preston himself became the consultant for Kanye West’s album as well as the Yeezy brand.
A party featured BEEN TRILL DJs (Image via StockX)
Not very long after the Tumblr phenomenon, the BEEN TRILL founders started to channel their efforts into their own individual endeavors. Heron founded HPC Trading Co to sell clothes and accessories he designed and teamed up with the New York Department of Sanitation on his first-ever collection “UNIFORM”.
“UNIFORM” was the product of the same design language that Heron wanted to use when working with Carhartt, Off-White, Gap, UGG, Nike and even NASA: “A mixture of workwear and luxury streetwear through the eyes of New Yorkers”.
Heron Preston in his collaboration with Carhartt (Image via Hypebeast)
A few looks from F/W18 collection by Heron Preston (Image via Grailed)
From left: Heron Preston in his collaboration with NASA (Image via Grailed) | A cutscene from the project “Above The Clouds” by Heron Preston and NASA
THE CURIOSITY FACTOR
During his first week on the job at Nike, someone left a printout on Heron’s desk bearing the statement: “Once you lose your curiosity, it’s over.” At first, he feared he might be fired, but the slogan on that piece of paper turned out to be advised he has kept in mind ever since and which has guided his creative genius.
Curiosity is at the core of Heron Preston’s approach to design.
Now you can explore the fruits of that curiosity at There VND Then where the Heron Preston SS19 is now in stock. Below are some of our favorites from the new collection. Enjoy this sneak preview, then head to our store to try them for size!
From left: Racing Cap | Camo Fanny Waistbag
From left: Reflective Long Sleeve Shirt | Reflective Swim Shorts
From left: Zipper Cargo Pants | Heavy Duty T-shirt
iPhone X Racing Phone Case