Spring-summer 2022 was a historic moment for Peter Do’s brand. The New York-based designer gave a hand-written note to each and every one of his guests. In the letter, he likened designing his new collection – the first he’s showing on the runway – to making Pho with his dad as a teen. Do father and son were Vietnamese immigrants in Philadelphia, and cooking the traditional soup was a weekend bonding exercise. “A good Pho is reduced and edited, to an essence” he wrote. “It is comforting and it feels like home… welcome to our home.” Set in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, in an open lot next to the East River, Do’s runway debut was one of the most anticipated shows of a revived New York Fashion Week. The spectacular Manhattan skyline across the water made his point, which was about insisting on his place and that of his team as Asian-Americans here in New York. While describing the collection, the designer used the word functionality to describe his work; “making your life easier while looking good,” is how he puts it. The genesis of this collection was that first outing. Though he’s been a minimalist from the start, when analyzing his early work with more experienced eyes, he decided to pare it back and cut out its excesses. The lightness and feminine minimalism is subtly contrasted with the romantic rose embroideries in the last looks – this gave the entire line-up a refined, elegant touch. In the end of the show, Do brought his whole team out for a bow. Up until this point, it’s the product alone that has driven his label’s success. Now that his followers can put faces to the name – about a dozen people appears during that bow, and they’re also appearing in a wild posting campaign for his autumn collection – that success seems likely to grow.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.