After stints under Phoebe Philo and Derek Lam, Peter Do is carving out his own name in the world of fashion. His career started at Derek Lam and Celine, and now Peter Do is ready to make his own imprint on the fashion industry with his namesake brand.
On paper, Do is a standout. Do graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, and won the Graduates Award in the prestigious inaugural LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers competition. Phoebe Philo would end up hand picking him to work at Celine. After his stint there, he became the breath of fresh air that would rejuvenate the collections of Derek Lam. With enough experience under his belt, Do decided to venture out into the most terrifying corners of the fashion industry by going solo.
Do started his namesake brand just under a year ago, the brand has become somewhat of a hit both on social media and in the press. His aesthetic shows clear referencing to Celine, Maison Margiela and Comme des Garçons—but Peter Do is determined to define his own sense of style. “The Peter Do aesthetic is powerful, quiet, but sensual,” says the designer. “There is a heavy focus on tailoring combined with sophisticated subversion. Many of the designs are grounded in reality and inspired by my own interests and daily life. I watch the way my friends and peers wear their clothing and build upon their ethos. I believe garments should be lived in and become an extension of oneself.”
Taking the easy way out is not an option for Peter and his team in New York; both his ideas and the finished product are made without compromise. “There is a strong focus on the return to garment making, with an emphasis on craftsmanship and fit.” says Do. “Though athleisure may be the fastest growing category in fashion, I believe in well-made clothing that transcends time.”
Do’s speciality is tailoring, but with his own brand, he wishes to fulfill all the needs of the contemporary wardrobe. “When creating Peter Do, I wanted to be able to speak to the entirety of a woman’s wardrobe,” he says. “At FIT, I specialized in tailoring but had little understanding of flou/dresses, which was quickly instilled in me at Celine. My tenure at Celine taught me a completely new, but integral appreciation for womenswear.”
Working under Philo at Celine made a mark on Peter’s career and his approach to designing clothes. “Phoebe was an incredible mentor, and one of the hardest working people I’ve ever worked with,” he says. “She was discerning and driven, but always relatable. Her ability to mesh both high and low culture is what creates the visual conversation in all of her collections—a conversation I want to continue with my namesake brand.”
The nostalgia that makes Peter Do’s work stand the test of time is his unorthodox approach to researching and resurrecting. “I firmly believe that sketching is antiquated and cannot produce garments that live in reality,” he maintains. “Many of our shapes and silhouettes are conceived through vintage research, mostly from thrift shops. Once we’ve created our prototypes, they are reworked constantly through a series of fittings on our model. The collections are a product of continuous evolution, emphasising our creative process as designers.”