With the worlds of music and fashion so closely intertwined, it's easy to understand why high-end headphone collaborations are so popular these days. In recent seasons, Beats by Dre has teamed up with the likes of Alexander Wang, Fendi and Oscar de la Renta, while Frends has collaborated with Rebecca Minkoff and Sass & Bide on unique pairs. Perhaps the most extravagant partnership of them all involved Chanel and Monster, which debuted $5,000 quilted headphones on Chanel's fall 2014 runway.
But, the best — and sleekest — set we've seen thus far is the one that New York-based brand Master and Dynamic just released in collaboration with Proenza Schouler. They're not flashy or bulky, the sound quality is stellar (they're noise-canceling!), and with leather and metal detailing designed by Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, they're obviously very beautiful.
"It made sense for us to do this collaboration because music is such a huge part of our lives and it forms a lot of our collections in a weird, abstract sort of way," McCollough told Fashionista at Proenza Schouler's Greene Street store on Thursday night. "There's always music playing in the studio and when we're Upstate drawing — it's very much a part of our world." Luckily, the designers have very similar taste in music ("If we didn't it would be horrible!") and they estimate that about 75 percent of the artists in their respective iTunes libraries overlap.
As for who gets to play DJ more often, there's less of an agreement between the two designers. "We just got back from sketching upstate and I think you were controlling [the music] a little bit, which made me feel kind of weird," McCollough said to Hernandez, to which he countered, "It's just because I have a lot of new music these days!" Specifically, FKA Twigs and Ariel Pink.
In case you were wondering, music was a big part of both designers' lives before they started their brand, too. "Oh, I've had some horrible phases — I went to Lilith Fair a bunch of times. I once went to a Cranberries concert, which is really embarrassing," Hernandez admitted. "I traveled around, I followed the Grateful Dead," McCollough said. "But I'm not embarrassed by that."
The headphones by Proenza Schouler are available now at Master and Dynamic for $495, and each colorway was created in a limited edition of 200. We think we'll be adding a pair to our holiday wishlists — along with a classic Cranberries album or two.