In a predominantly maximalist fashion era, the revival of minimalism is refreshing. Meet Peter Do, the 29-year-old Vietnamese designer spearheading the movement with his eponymous label. But Do doesn’t want to label his brand as minimalistic—as a matter of fact, he shies away from doing so. Instead, he opts for the descriptor of clean, polished, tailored looks. Overtly feminine, but quietly powerful. He tailors to the modern working woman: a strong and serious no-nonsense woman who equally values functionality and fun.
Do was born in Vietnam and immigrated to the States at 14, where he later studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology and specialized in tailoring. After graduating, he won the LVMH Graduate Prize, where he chose to study at the Parisian fashion house, Celine, under the helm of Phoebe Philo. After his time with Philo, Do worked a stint under Derek Lam and he began planning his next career step: starting his own brand.
The Peter Do team was born out of college friendships and Tumblr. Social media was the main proponent in their initial launch campaign, and still remains relevant and crucial to the brand. Its Instagram account, @the.peterdo, currently boasts a sizable following of 193,000 and is only increasing. A variation of professional editorial looks from studio shoots to streetwear shots of team members wearing the brands’ clothes compose their feed. From factory runs in Brooklyn to shenanigans in the office, the Do team posts about it all, and is not afraid to have fun doing so. Their candid and authentic social media presence is representative of their brand ethos and reflective of why so many people are attracted to not only their clothes, but the underpinnings of the brand itself.
When referring to his brand, Do often uses the collective “we,” signifying the strength and importance of the bond between the team members. The Peter Do team truly is a family. They have weekly Thursday potlucks, frequent team dinners and bonding outings. Recently, the team held a secret Santa, where each member hand-crafted a gift for another member anonymously. Gifts ranged from hand-made earrings and ear cuffs to paintings and pottery. In whatever they do, the Peter Do team does it together and with the homely ethos the brand embodies.
The team members’ accounts have also been highly supplemental to the brand’s success. Press and sales directors, @jessicazwu and @vin.ho, respectively, post candid shots on their Instagram stories of the team’s activities and stylings of their Do apparel. Do himself is also fairly active on his personal Instagram account, @doxpeter, which currently has an audience of 85,000. From coffee runs to everyday outfit posts, Do effortlessly curates a feed that can be likened to a mood-board. Although Do shares much about his everyday life, he betrays little about himself. In both editorial and casual shots, he always opts to hide his face, expressing the sentiment that the brand is more so about the clothes than the designer. In a world of oversharing, the ambiguity and mystery he embodies is quite refreshing.
The Peter Do style is akin to that of brands like Comme des Garcons, Maison Margiela, Proenza Schouler, and Alexander Wang. Though elements of their aesthetic can be likened to these other brands, their meaningful attention to quality and detail has propelled them to be standout within today’s luxury industry. Innovation is also a trademark quality that has set them aside from other brands, one of them being their “spacer” fabric, a transparent neoprene-like fabric, Do and his team have coined to be a brand signature.
The Do aesthetic is unfussy but does not go unnoticed. Looks are polished but are not stiff; they are serious, yet playful, much like the women who Do tailors his clothing for. His forte lies in crafting elevated daywear, creating a collection of comfortable and functional pieces that flaunt touches of couture. Pieces that remain standout in his collection are ribbed knit backless sweaters, asymmetrically pleated skirts layered over silky straight trousers, and versatile dress shirts with a one-sided billowed sleeve. Colors that are essential to their palette are light greys, browns, and navy blue, but the brand is not afraid to add pops of color, shown through pieces that are accented with fiery oranges and fuchsias. Accessories that have proven to be the brand’s staple are silver heart locket earrings, chrome card case carriers, and pillow bag totes that embody a textural duality with leather on one side but are emblazoned with faux fur on the other. It is also evident that Do is cognizant of the concerns of the modern working woman and implements the solutions in his garments without sacrificing chicness, most notably through subtleties such as dress pockets and wrinkle-free fabrics that sustain their freshly pressed looks throughout the day.
In recent years, Do’s brand has garnered much attention from the industry, specifically that of retail giants like Net-a-Porter, Barney’s, Bergdorf Goodman, and Dover Street Market. Celebrities like Zendaya, Solange, and Beyoncé have also taken note of the brand’s excellence in tailoring and taken to the red carpet donned in full Peter Do. Do and his brand have also both been recently awarded LVMH prize semifinalists, where he and his team showed their latest FW20 collection in Paris.
The brand has come a long way from where they began a mere two years ago, from first making staple and graphic t-shirts to revealing their first full collection for FW19 in Spring 2019 to now, where they have a full-fledged runway collection and are expanding their repertoire by dabbling in jewelry and footwear. Do is a prodigal trailblazer in fashion who isn’t halting his genius anytime soon, as he continues his deconstruction of a stereotypically stuffy industry by making luxury more accessible and approachable for everyone.
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