Fashion Designer David Peck Feels Right At Home In His New Montrose Showroom And Factory
David Peck is a rising star in the field of fashion and a new Montrose resident as of the middle of August. He took time to sit down to an interview in the middle of a busy afternoon to talk about his inspirations, his loyal clientele and how the move to Montrose has propelled his business forward into a new era. You can find his showroom and factory (where all of Peck’s designs are manufactured right here in Houston) at 2515 Morse St.
Who or what are your muses or inspirations?
My biggest inspiration and muse would be my customer. I think that over the past four and a half years we’ve been in business, we’ve had a wonderful opportunity to meet the women who wear the clothes and have been really loyal to the brand. What’s cool about them is that they’re very driven and very successful in many ways. Some of them are full-time moms, but are heavily involved in their children’s organizations or other charitable organizations and are working nonstop and need clothes that are practical; from working with a child to working with adults, all in a short span of time. Then we have career women who are traveling and need clothes to make it from city to city and meeting to meeting. The biggest inspiration is finding what interests me about fashion and design and making sure it meets the needs of the customers.
Who is your client?
She’s classic, quirky and colorful. She wants to be fashionable and have something beautiful and unique, but she’s also practical. She wants something she can keep in her closet for 10 years. They usually love art. It really seems to be something my clients have in common. Whether they’re artistic themselves or support the arts, they really appreciate it and love to be surrounded by creative things. A lot of our prints and textiles really speak to that.
Your latest collection used a special moth print inspired by a visit to your grandmother’s house in your hometown of Santa Fe, NM. It seems like you took a vulnerability (losing your grandmother earlier this year) and turned it into beautiful pieces of clothing. Is every collection that personal?
I think that’s what our customers respond to. The stories that inform each collection aren’t just random. I think a part of me wanted to be a writer or a filmmaker and tell stories. I feel like fashion is a way I can do that. Sometimes it’s more literal than others. When you’re honest about who you are and where you came from, sometimes it’s messy and you don’t really quite understand how a kid from Santa Fe, New Mexico — which is not a fashion town at all — wanted to move to Paris to study fashion and somehow end up in Houston doing this. That’s what surprises people, and I try to translate that into the clothing.
How did you end up in Houston?
My wife is a Houstonian, born and raised, and was always talking about how great Houston was, but I never believed her. We met in Paris. I only had two pictures of Houston. The good one was Rushmore (I am a big Wes Anderson fan), so that was very cool to me. The other one to me was from Office Space. I moved to New York for a little while, but then my wife’s mom got sick and I didn’t want to do the long distance thing. I thought, “Ok, my career’s going to die.” I really thought it was all over. Then, Houston really surprised me. There are wonderful neighborhoods like Montrose that really are such a center for great energy. It’s where art meets commerce. It’s such a wonderful, happening place. I love how diverse my life feels. There are people of so many different ethnicities and cultures from all over the world here. All of our customers come from every walk of life. Houston is a city where you can work really hard and people will support you.
Who are some fashion icons in Houston?
I think the one person who always carries herself so well is Lynn Wyatt. She truly is the epitome of a very polite Southern woman who is also headstrong and active. She’s achieved so many things and has worked on so many different causes. She’s had some interesting conversations with some of the most interesting minds of this century. It’s really cool to see someone whose life has been surrounded by people they write books about. She’s probably the one person I knew about before I moved here.
How did your business model change after moving to Montrose?
I feel like owning a small business is like raising a small child. You never know what to expect. Every time something changes, I feel like it’s been for the better. Our old location is being demolished (welcome to Houston), so we had 90 days to find a new space and get a lease signed, start a build out and to move. Fortunately, through the powers of social media, it was possible. Our former location was second-story, and was a factory. We had very little selling space and didn’t have room to merchandise. We had gradually been stepping away from wholesale, and then in moving here, we realized it had to be a store. It had to be a place where people could shop and we could hold events, and really become a part of the community, plus we could have offices and a factory. It’s been incredible. Even from the first day we moved in and nothing was ready, we had people shopping in the factory. What a difference being on the ground floor made, having street visibility and other businesses nearby. It’s a miracle to find a place with parking, a miracle to have an uninterrupted space like this, it’s a miracle to have a building from the 1940s that hasn’t been compromised or demolished. It’s quirky, has charm and has a lot of the things that I love.