Every issue, GRAZIA USA highlights Game Changers, who inspire, educate, and celebrate individuality, beauty, and style. Meet Peter Som, the award-winning designer using his creative passions to build a bridge between food and fashion.
My journey as an entrepreneur begins with me in the fifth grade. At that point, I already knew what I wanted to do — start a fashion line. I was a very shy child, and I was always drawing, especially pictures of my mother. That eventually evolved into sketching her clothes. But then a family trip to Paris as a kid made that dream feel like it could be a reality. While there, my sister bought L’Officiel and French Vogue. Those publications opened a magical door to fashion with a capital F. While being inspired by the pages of the magazines, I thought: “By the time I’m 30, I will start my own line.”
Turning 30 holds a certain level of symbolism when you’re a child. It felt like an age when people have everything figured out. Even though, as you grow up, you learn that you might not. Despite coming to that realization, I still was able to reach my goal of having my own collection by 30. In order to make that childhood dream a reality, I had to combine strategy, work ethic and instincts. There are a lot of unexpected turns on this path, but every step and misstep offers an opportunity to learn.
I’ve learned a lot throughout my career and with developing my own brand. My approach to entrepreneurship parallels my design process and creating a recipe. There’s a lot of thought put into it. Whether it’s clothing on the rack or food being plated, it has to look great and make people feel good.
When I first started my line, retailers were very clear about the fact that the clothing had to stand out. My work in the culinary world is similar because we eat with our eyes. I want to make things people want to either eat or wear again. I have a creative approach to everything that I do.
When I was younger, I prioritized placing my energy toward the end goal and figuring out what’s next. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to live in the present. I’ve embraced living in the now and just saying, “Okay, this is cool.”
While trying to live in the moment, I still want to continue to work in the food space and expand my brand. Within the next five years, I see Peter Som growing and encompassing everything under the lifestyle umbrella. I still work in fashion because I will never leave the fashionista inside of me. I still have my collection with Rent the Runway, and it’s ongoing. But Peter Som the brand will continue to be an extension of me and include fashion, food and more.
As my marquee evolves, there are steps to turning all of my ideas into something tangible. With attempting to turn an idea into something real — whether that be a dress or a dish — my parents were the perfect example. As architects, they were able to talk to someone, develop a blueprint and build a house. In my eyes, my work requires me to take the same type of leap. There’s a lot of trial and error when you’re creating and growing your own business, but the more you can get on paper the better the execution will be.
While reflecting on the development process, it’s also the foundation for what’s to come. I think about what’s next in this professional journey a lot. I’m working on so many different things, and I love what I’m doing. I’m focused on broadening what I do and how I communicate it.
Read GRAZIA USA’s Fall issue featuring cover star Nicola Peltz Beckham:
While building Peter Som into a lifestyle brand I’m partnering with Simply Organic, and I’m excited about it. With balancing the culinary and fashion worlds at once, there are a variety of things happening at the same time. For example, my Rent the Runway collection will launch this fall while I am working on my collaboration with Simply Organics.
Balancing the daily grind still requires an opportunity to escape. I value having the ability to step away from my phone and disengage with social media. It can be a challenge because it’s become incorporated into the world we live in, but the break is so incredibly refreshing.
I genuinely enjoy the silence and being in my apartment. It’s become a form of mediation, along with acupuncture. That, however, I can’t do myself, but it helps me feel centered and helps me exhale.
GRAZIA USA’s 2022 Fall issue will be available for purchase on newsstands nationwide in October. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to subscribe.