Get to know the Peter Do team, fashion's closest chosen family
i-D China catches up with the NY designer and the gang to discuss their most memorable moments and the love of food that keeps them together.
Photography Yiru Wang and Zhongjia Sun
Since they started working together in 2017, Peter Do and his team have enjoyed one of fashion’s most meteoric rises in recent memory, establishing themselves as key figures in reshaping the face of American fashion. While they’ve grown, though, they have never compromised on the humanity and integrity of their operation. Their team is a family made up of talented, real humans, and their Brooklyn studio is free of the toxic stereotypes that fashion culture is notorious for — exclusivity, body shaming, and that well-known “you can’t sit with us” attitude.
Instead, you’ll find a group of people bound by a mutual love of good food, clothes and company. They’re also the people that you’ll have seen in the label’s AW21 campaign, in which each team member wore a look for both day and night; and you’ll likely recognise them from the label’s debut runway show for SS22, when the team all took the final bow together, rather than have Peter do it solo.
As Peter Do finally expands into China, i-D China (led by the brand’s former fit model) broke into their first showroom in Shanghai, a collaboration with SEIYA NAKAMURA 2.24, and caught up with the team about their most memorable moments, challenges, and their deeply felt love of food.
Peter Do, Creative Director
Congratulations on your first show! What made you decide to do a fashion show this season at last? We’ve always wanted to do a show since the beginning, but it was important for all of us that the first show would represent “home” in one way or another. At the time, we wanted to do a show and collection that paid tribute to our homeland, which is Vietnam, as the majority of founders were from there. Over the years, it became clear that it would be related to us building a house and atelier in NYC, as a family of immigrants from different places — a home in New York. The intention for the show was to celebrate something beyond a collection of looks, but also of Asian-ness that’s not a victim or invisible. We wanted to host a ceremony to welcome people into our home. You’ve created a safe space that puts human values at the label’s core, which is rare in fashion. Why is that important for you? When the five of us started the brand, we were all in one way or another “outsiders” in the fashion industry. We talked about the toxic internal cultures that existed in the industry and how we saw things differently. That was one of the important reasons why we started our own brand. With the popularity and high demand in the market, why did you only choose to formally enter China now? China was always one of the biggest markets for our brand since the beginning, so we always planned to expand when we felt the timing was right. It’s also one of the markets that was least understood by our team — we had very little insight into how the press strategy operates and how clients shop. When SEIYA NAKAMURA 2.24 approached us to help us integrate into the China market, we knew we were in good hands: we've worked with the global team he assembled before and knew they would be able to present the brand authentically.
Vincent Ho, CEO
Describe a typical day in your life at the Peter Do studio. I arrive at the office around 10 AM and answer all the emails pertaining to the business operations; then I check the sales email and answer any emails pertaining to orders and distribution. I usually eat lunch outside of the office, and in the afternoon I'll head over to the design department to get candy from So Hyun, our assistant designer who always has snacks at her desk. Can you share your most memorable moment with the Peter Do team? Folding, packing and shipping 1000+ units. This was before we had a distribution centre in Italy, and we would split the team in two, with one working the day and the other at night. It was long and tedious, but it was very fun to be there late with your friends. What are some of the biggest challenges in your role? Managing Peter's budget. Peter has an amazing sense of design and is a creative genius, but he is not very good with money. What’s the most Peter Do food for you? Cake. And your favourite SS22 piece? The crystal coats.
Lydia Sukato, Director of Operations
Describe a typical day in your life at the Peter Do studio. I do general administration, operations and logistics. All my work is computer-based. I spend 50% of my time on emails (i.e. PO & follow-ups), 30% on excel (i.e. SKUs & data entries), and 20% software (i.e. accounting & shipping). Can you share your most memorable moment with the Peter Do team? Our Utah campaign field trip. The white sandy salt lake, the snowy top mountains, the brown-white horses, and the vivid blue sky. What are some of the biggest challenges in your role? Workload influx and time management. What’s the most Peter Do food for you? Dim sum. Your favourite SS22 piece?The sliced skirt (every season).
Jessica Wu, Press Director
What are some of the biggest challenges in your role? Sharing one set of samples between all departments! What’s the most Peter Do food for you?The different cakes I make for each member’s birthday every year. Your favourite SS22 piece? The black dumpling bag.
An Nguyen, Designer
Can you share your most memorable moment with the Peter Do team? It would be presenting our first collection in our Paris showroom for SS19. We felt like a couple of kids hopping on a plane with a suitcase full of samples and no appointments, trying our luck. The immense sense of pride and excitement for presenting months of hard work and experiencing it together is definitely one of my most memorable and gratifying experiences with the PD team. What’s the most Peter Do food for you? Either Ma La dry pot or Jessica's bakes.
Bebe Bolortoli, Sales Manager
Can you share your most memorable moment with the Peter Do team?Watching the models walk from backstage for our first show SS22 "Home" collection. What’s the most Peter Do food for you? Costco pizza and hotdog. Your favourite SS22 piece? Leather Back Cut Out Coat in Brown Croc Leather.
Pablo Correa, Head of Production
What are some biggest challenges of your role? Managing expectations is definitely one of the most challenging parts of my role. As the Head of Production, I walk a fine line between making sure our margins meet the requirements of our sales team while keeping the quality and design integrity of our collections. What’s the most Peter Do food for you? EGGS! We love eggs! In our first showroom in Paris, we would cook eggs in the morning, family-style, for breakfast before our appointments, drizzle soy sauce on them, and dip a fresh baguette in them. It was simple, delicious, and it was an intimate moment we shared before our hectic days!
Cooper Robar, Production Assistant
Can you share your most memorable moment with the Peter Do team? When we all surprised Lydia for her birthday by going hiking upstate in the cold of February where we got to see cows, cattails and plenty of mud, which was followed up by a delicious family dinner! What are some biggest challenges of your role? Having to be extremely thorough and organised in every aspect and constantly having to think 10 steps ahead. And your favourite SS22 piece? The black leather platform boot will always have a place in my heart — can't wait to be 6'9" tall when I get my personal order come spring!
Utkarsh Shukla, Assistant Designer
What’s the most Peter Do food for you? Dry pot at Lao Ma Spicy. And your favourite SS22 piece? The pleated shirt dress in white linen.
So Hyun An, Assistant Designer
What’s your favourite SS22 piece? The pouch bag in brown croc. What are some biggest challenges of your role? One of the biggest challenges for me is having to cut certain pieces from the collection that just aren’t working for the story. After spending a lot of time with certain garments, you do get attached and it seems like such a shame to have to cancel them, but of course in the grand scheme of things it is necessary.
Oliver Murray, Assistant Designer
What’s your favourite SS22 piece? Look 6 — the olive oversized blazer with olive twisted pants (I ordered it). What are some of the biggest challenges of your role? Choosing what I'm going to buy at the end of the season. Can you share your most memorable moment with the Peter Do team? At the end of the runway show, when we walked out and everyone was cheering for Peter and the team.
Photography Yiru Wang and Zhongjia Sun
Model Em Guo
Fashion Assistance Lolo