One can only imagine Peter Pilotto and design partner Christopher de Vos locked in a tense game of chess, battling for the highest scoring word in Scrabble, or falling out over snakes and ladders when inspiration suddenly hits for their AW15 collection: board games.

Unfortunately this isn't quite how it happened. “I don’t know if I ever played a board game,” says Peter, dashing all those daydreams. “It’s quite funny, we like to explore topics whether we are connected to them or not.” They landed on the theme of board games when looking at artists in the sixties, and some of the illustrations reminded them of characters in traditional games. The obsession snowballed from there. “We realised there were things we did in the past that were not even board game inspired, yet had the character of those flashy colours or the sense of movement. So it felt really right to work with this layout,” explains Peter.

It is this light touch that characterises what the duo have created since 2007. They indulge in a playfulness without being too gimmicky or garish. It's not easy to make a black jumper with childish blocks of colour snaking down the front seem luxurious, but they've done it. The designers always try to bring “a certain energy and vibrancy” to their clothes says Peter, and the theme of the AW15 collection allowed them to flex this muscle. 

Peter and Christopher first met in 2000 at Antwerp's Royal Academy of Fine Art. Peter was one year ahead of Christopher and on graduating he founded the label, with his partner joining soon after. Whilst they might be youthful, the fashion house is now eight years old and increasingly well-known globally (thanks to multiple awards and a record-breaking collaboration with Target). The brand is maturing with its latest milestone: in March they received an injection of investment from MH Luxe and Megha Mittal, who acquired Escada in 2009. Previously, Peter and Christopher have got to know the business by playing every role in the company, sometimes at the same time: “it’s quite something to have so many different moments in a day,” says Peter. Whilst he loved this, he admits it's somewhat of a relief to be able to settle down and focus purely on designing. Thanks to the new investment, the house is at an exciting stage. Checkmate to Peter Pilotto – they’ll have no reason to be sore losers anytime soon.

Text by Prudence Wade

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