Dao-Yi Chow is known for the authentic, urban spin that he and co-founder Maxwell Osborne put on tailored sportswear with their CFDA Award-winning label Public School. And while his role as fashion designer has made him a well-respected industry name, it’s impossible to define Dao-Yi without first describing him as a dad. “I am a father before anything else, and without that I wouldn’t be able to define myself,” he explains with a cool-confidence. “My kids give me purpose and the foundation to do whatever it is that I do. Fatherhood is a way of life for me.”

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After-school walking through Fort Greene. “Azzie (left) is my baby boy. He never stops moving or talking! Idriys (right) is a lot like me at his age—a little too smart and thinks he’s got it all figured out. They’re both really sensitive and bright.”

For the third installment of our A Quality Cut video series with Blind Barber, Dao-Yi sits down for a cut with stylist Julien Howard and discusses how being a dad to Idriys, 14, and Azlan (“Azzie”), 5, shapes his world. It’s immediately clear that if there’s one thing his roles as fashion designer and doting father have in common, it’s the influence of his native New York City. Public School is entirely designed and produced in the Garment District and takes its name from the city’s public school system, which Dao-Yi says, “urges you to be original and authentic to survive.” The label is constantly inspired by the city’s restless energy and mix of influences. Meanwhile, as a father, Dao-Yi hopes his children will harness that same energy and embrace the idea of convergence that the city offers. “My kids are growing up in the biggest and greatest city in the world, and I want them to know that anything is possible. I want them to be proud to call themselves native New Yorkers, because that’s one of the things that I am most proud of,” he says.

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“When you want to teach your kids something you have to go through the process of relearning it again with them, so in that way every interaction with my kids leaves me in a better place than when I started.”

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