While fashion designers have long seen workwear as a well of inspiration, they have often pulled from the same buckets—namely denim, military and construction apparel. Over the past five years, buckets have been added, most notably through Vetements’ use of DHL and office apparel and, more recently, through Heron Preston’s reworking of sanitation, and even NASA, uniforms. Although Preston is not yet grouped in the category of young imaginative designers such as Craig Green and Samuel Ross of A-Cold-Wall*, his increasing success speaks to both his unique background in marketing, as a photographer, graphic designer, his public personality and to the growing importance of social media and influencer culture within the fashion industry.

Born and raised in San Francisco, Heron Preston Johnson was inspired at an early age by his police officer father, who sparked Preston’s interest in uniforms and encouraged his education. For his junior and senior years, Preston attended New Technology High School in Napa, California, a school funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that featured glass classroom walls and provided each of its 200 students with a computer. “I remember seeing tours of business people walking through the hallways and I felt like I was in a fishbowl, or in an experiment about some new futuristic world of education. It was in that high school that I learned how to code. I also had a new media class where I learned to use software programs like Photoshop, Illustrator and Dreamweaver,” Preston said to Elle in 2016. Although Preston taught himself to code HTML, he credits the New Tech High with the diverse skill set he accumulated, which inevitably led him into the blogging world that later acted as a springboard for his career.

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