Peter Do, pronounced not ‘do’ but ‘dough’, is a Fashion Institute of Technology alumnus, a 2014 LVMH Graduate Prize winner, a 2020 LVMH Prize for Young Designers finalist, a former Phoebe Philo CELINE worker, and now creative director of Helmut Lang. Though for a man who purposefully takes a step back from interviews to let the clothes speak for themselves, Do has been making a lot of noise in the industry.
The Vietnam-born designer launched his eponymous brand in 2018, though he makes it clear it’s not just his brand. Peter Do is a collective born out of Do, the man, and his friends who all shared the same frustrations regarding the industry. Founded with 5 heads, the company has now grown but continues to operate on a homie-basis, everything from design to press being handled in-house in Peter Do’s NYC studio.
Ever since its first collection, the Peter Do pillars had been set in stone and continue to be elevated with every season, which only include 2 a year as opposed to the industry’s superfluous 4 (or more) per year. Tailoring is placed front and centre, orbiting around notions of architectural inspirations and fabrics that emphasise comfort.
Some of Peter Do’s previous work is still some of his most recognized, and a reference point for his current work. The FW19 backless suit jacket, which has been revisited and reworked notably in SS23 for the NYFW runway show, has become synonymous with the brand which initially started as a womenswear label, before injecting menswear 2 seasons ago into the brand that had always had a unisex quality to it.
Peter does not try to reinvent the wheel each season, especially considering the wheel continues to roll more than adequately. It’s not just a brand ethos but a manifesto in direct response to the industry’s means of operation, though it has become so evident to the brand whose Instagram account started gaining recognition for its unfiltered quality before the app even adopted the casual post trend.
Peter Do does not do minimalism, a word deemed reductive to the lengthy process it takes to create its garments. Peter Do does essentialism. Subtle but very much there, the difference lies within the concept: while minimalism looks to reduce as much as possible, essentialism focuses on the core of the idea, or rather, the essence. This is easily seen in Peter Do’s Fall 2023 collection which contained 351 looks – there’s nothing minimal about that.
A quick glance at Do’s work and the influences of Helmut Lang, Martin Margiela, Phoebe Philo and even Ann Demeulemeester are quickly understood, making the designer’s appointment to the first house almost too obvious to be considered clever. Following the youthful takeover that was kickstarted by Olivier Rousteing who took over Balmain at age 26 back in 2011, Do, aged 32, is now taking over the house that once inspired his own.
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