Designer in Profile: Peter Pilotto


Following London Fashion Week this September it was announced that UK based label Peter Pilotto will be the latest brand to collaborate with retailer Target on a new collection. Due to hit the shelves in time for Spring 2014 the capsule collection will provide high end fashion with signature bold prints at a much more attainable price tag.

In light of the announcement we thought it was about time we researched the Peter Pilotto brand and the designers behind their much loved collections. Here’s what we discovered.

The Peter Pilotto Story

With a name like Peter Pilotto it would be easy to envision the hot fashion label is the vision of just one man. Confusing perhaps then that the Peter Pilotto brand is actually in the hands of two lead designers, Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos.

The pair first met in 2000 while studying at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, Belgium and immediately struck up a strong working relationship despite having distinctly different backgrounds. Pilotto’s parents owned a fashion shop in Austria so he grew up surrounded by stylish designer clothes while De Vos was born in Libya but spent much of his childhood travelling overseas while his parents worked in the oil industry.

PP_AW13_037A shared interest in science and nature soon drew the pair together in a coherent creative partnership where they developed bold prints and distinctive modern silhouettes throughout their studies.

Circumstances dictated that the label owned equally between the two would go on to carry Peter’s name alone. Peter graduated a year in advance while Christopher completed his studies, and as demand was already high for his graduation collection he set up the Peter Pilotto brand and began to sell it into stores such as Maria Luisa. Once Christopher joined a year later it was decided to keep the Peter Pilotto name so not to confuse existing stockists.

Despite their mixed background and education in Belgium, the pair headed for London straight after graduation. Although they had enjoyed some early success selling Peter’s graduation collection things were far from easy and the transition from a promising young label to the emerging global brand of today was a long and difficult process.

Pilotto puts a large part of their success down to the help they received from the Centre for Fashion Enterprise. He said: ‘It gave us security – two years to not worry about rent. It gave us a studio, the use of the sewing machines and facilities.’

The hard work paid of with a string of well received collections and the Emerging Talent Award in 2009 propelling the young company onto the international stage.

Since then the Pilotto label has grown at an exceptional rate, expanding from an initial team of 12, the studio now houses around 40 staff and the brand is sold in 220 stores across 50 countries.

The Pilotto Style

Who Wears a Pilotto

Peter Pilotto and Target

Written by: Stephen Adams

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