As co-founder and chief executive officer of Proenza Schouler, Shirley Cook has overseen the label’s rapid ascension from school project to lucrative luxury brand with sales of over $50 million, a strong accessories division, and a total of five CFDA awards, including three for best womenswear designers. The brand is currently the hottest ticket at New York Fashion Week.
Along with negotiating the terms of a 2007 investment by private equity firm Permira and subsequent investment by a group of 12 private investors, Cook has also overseen the brands international retail strategy. In 2012, the brand launched its first flagship store in New York. A revamped e-commerce presence was launched in May 2013.
Cook was originally introduced to designers and co-founders Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez through a mutual school friend. An alumnus of New York University, where she obtained a Bachelors of Arts in religious studies in 2001, Cook began helping the young designers with sales receipts and business questions whilst working as a PR assistant at Helmut Lang and was officially brought on board to oversee the lable’s business operations after Barneys New York purchased the entirety of McCollough and Hernandez’s school thesis collection.
Chief Executive2002 - Present, New York, United States