Although not a New Orleans resident himself—Peck hails from Houston—but the designer was immediately drawn to the historic city. This isn’t the first time he’s paid homage to the city: CrOp’s Fall/Winter 2011 lineup honed in on the destruction of the Gulf region and its difficult rehabilitation. For spring, however, Peck opted to celebrate the resilience of Crescent City’s natives, who remain unbowed and unbroken despite the onslaught.
For spring, Peck celebrates the resilience of Crescent City’s natives, who remain unbowed and unbroken.
Beyond their form-flattering silhouettes and heady designs, Peck’s tailored dresses and separates tell a story. The prints, for instance, are based on photographs of the city by Louisiana artist Daniel Ortiz. “Chips Papillon” is inspired by the inside of a Zapp’s potato-chip bag, “The Birds” derived from bold plumes on the walls of the Commander’s Palace, and “Reflection Pool” evocative of the bodies of water at Audubon Park.
THE CITY THAT CARE FORGOT
Peck’s attraction to New Orleans runs deeper than beads and parades. He also appreciates the value it places on preserving its culture and historic architecture, a tack he applies to his own work. “I really love the idea of historical preservation and it makes me sad when old things go away,” he tells Ecouterre. “I wanted to celebrate that and take those older things that the people in the city value and turn them into something other people could enjoy, as well.”
Five of Peck’s pieces are in the Louisiana State Museum’s permanent textile archives.
His efforts haven’t gone unnoticed. The Louisiana State Museum recently inducted five of his pieces into its permanent textile archives.
As much of a history buff as he is, the designer isn’t above protecting the future. Sustainability is a key driver of his business, from the organic cotton he sources from Turkey to the low-impact dyes he insists on. Peck’s Houston-based facility employs locals who are keen to learn the trade. “A lot of the women that first come to work with us don’t have a lot of skills,” he says. “There’s not a huge manufacturing base for clothing in Houston, but we take the time to train them and they can work their way up and gain skills and then are able to earn a living through that.”
HEALING THE GULF
Choosing a charitable partner for his most recent lines was easy. “The Gulf Restoration Network focuses on restoring the Gulf Coast not just for eco-reasons,” he explains. “I really like that they are involved in all aspects—they care about people and they care about the environment. They really understand the impact that the environment has on our lives.”
“We try to do little bits and pieces along the way to change the story and build awareness,” Peck says.
Not that Peck has any illusions about his label’s role in the grander scheme of things, but he believes that small steps do add up. “Can we do good while producing? There’s an inherent amount of waste in anything that you do,” he says. “[The question is] how can we do it in a way that has the least impact on the environment and the most positive impact on people’s lives? We try to do little bits and pieces along the way to change the story and build awareness.”