Leaving their boutique the evening before it opened, the pair decided to venture to the Carlyle hotel for a drink, where they reminisced about their 20s. Hernandez noted they were “very crazy.” Though now they are far more reclusive—an ideal day would be spent at their country home, where Hernandez gardens while McCollough cooks—this is a somewhat recent development. They used to throw legendary costume parties. “Everyone would bring their drug of choice, and we’d have these epic, all-night insanities, where you didn’t know who anyone was,” Hernandez recalled.
As astonishing as their rise has been, perhaps most remarkable is how little it has changed them. Their core group of friends is the same since their early 20s, many of them in the fashion and art world, like the accessories designer Kate Fleming and the art photographer David Benjamin Sherry. “They really haven’t been affected by their success,” says Christopher Campbell, a fashion editor who met the pair during college. “I think a big part of it is that they just balance each other out really nicely.”
Despite all that is going on with their company these days—they plan, over the next few years, to open up more stores—the two often find themselves thinking of life after fashion. In this, their model is less that of someone like the empire-building Marc Jacobs and more that of someone like Helmut Lang, who famously retired at the height of his popularity. “We’re not doing this forever. We’re not Karl Lagerfeld,” Hernandez asserted. “Who knows, maybe we’ll have kids and start a family—boring things like that.” He then turned to McCollough and smiled. “Maybe at some point we’ll actually live together again.”