Written by The Strategy
At The Strategy, one of our core desires is to learn what inspires our favourite fashion insiders and the way that they dress. But, it doesn’t stop there. We also love to learn the inspiration behind a designers craft and how they go about creating their collections.
We recently sat down with menswear designer, Peter Hu, to learn how he finds inspiration and what goes into creating a collection. Currently, Peter and Jeremy Hu are in the process of designing their first collection for their new menswear label, Ouer, which is bound to have fashion tongues wagging the moment it’s released.
Where do you start the design process? Does it begin with the inspiration or the idea?
It is a little bit of both. It is often having an idea of what I want to achieve in the mood, or the story I want to tell, which will lead into doing a ton of design research. I find that you discover new ideas or can re-contextualize your ideas when you are doing research and can bring different elements together with a new perspective, which is exciting to me.
What is your design process?
It starts with ideation, then research. Once the story idea is planned out, we go into sketching and development. We are very hands-on, and make mock-ups of techniques and shapes as part of exploration. Once we have the styles confirmed, we then work with the atelier to make a prototype that goes through a couple of fittings before we confirm the style.
What does a typical day look like for you when you are designing a collection?
What people don’t realize is that designing is only a small portion of a designer’s job, so we are very lucky when we get some time to focus on sketching. Most of the time, it is working with teams to realize the sketch into a true garment, and the follow-through on the business side. It really takes a village, and we are constantly in touch with various teams throughout the process.
What goes into designing a collection?
Each collection has a little bit of different needs. Some need a bit more surface treatments, so we are working with our suppliers on different embroidery or manipulation techniques. Some are more about the fabric and trim, so we do a lot of research with our vendors to develop custom materials. We also must be mindful that it is a business, so we work with merchandising and sales to make sure we have all of the bases covered. Of course, on top of that, collections have a non-negotiable due date, so the calendar and logistics are super important.
If you have ever found yourself stumped when designing a collection, what do you turn to?
Just taking a breathe and going for a walk. When you change the context, you can see things from a new perspective. I am also a big proponent of research and keeping an open mind on what you are looking at.
Where does most of your inspiration come from?
It really could come from anywhere. It could also be as a simple fence with a nice pattern (which I have turned into a print before) or someone that you saw on the street with an attitude that feels fresh. It could also come from abstract things or references of other forms of art. The import thing is to keep an open mind and have a point of view of how to interpret the inspiration.