Peter Do showcased his final collection for Fashion Institute of Technology last week and won the Critic Award for sportswear, which he can add to his second-place award from the FIT vs Parsons competitive Fusion Fashion Show, a CFDA scholarship, and an honorable mention for the Geoffrey Beene Design Scholarship Award. But Do’s most recent accolade was granted by some of the biggest names in the industry, including Calvin Klein (an FIT alum), Francisco Costa (women’s creative director of Calvin Klein Collection), who he happens to be interning for this summer.
We caught up with Do after wrapping up with his final year at FIT to learn more about his design education, inspirations, and what he plans to do next.
When did you realize you wanted to become a fashion designer?
I don’t know if there was an exact moment. I taught myself how to sew in high school and participated in small fashion shows and that led to applying for fashion school. I struggled a lot for the first two years or so, always experimenting and trying to find my own voice in this industry. There were so many talented designers that I look up to and I was never sure if I was any good. I think I started to believe in myself more when I won the CFDA scholarship. It was a nice validation and I thought to myself that maybe I can do this design thing.
What was your time at FIT like and what would you advise for future and current students?
The AAS program at FIT was intense. I learned a lot. I thought the BFA, at least for me (Sportswear), was a little repetitive. So I spent a lot of time doing my own thing and never quite felt like I belong. I would say the number one challenge for me is the commuting part because I live so far from school. To other fashion students, I would just recommend spending more time outside of the classroom reading, researching and practicing what you learned from lectures.
How would you describe your aesthetic?
I don’t know if I can describe it. I know what I like and what I don’t. I wouldn’t call myself a minimalist and I tend to like things a bit oversized and unisex.
Tell us about your final collection.
I’m obsessed with Benjamin Carbonne’s paintings and all the fabrics were developed from his brushstrokes, compositions and colors. I spent a lot of time focusing on developing different fabrics and finishes. The silhouettes aren’t really new. Most are raglan with round-ish sleeves. I painted different types of plastics then quilted on different materials like foams and polyfill to create dimensions blurring the lines between 2D and 3D.
What’s next for you?
As of now, I plan to stay at Calvin Klein Collection for the summer. I have no plans after that. Ultimately, I want to work for a year or two then go back to school for a MFA in Europe.