Designer Jake Peak: “Here Are 5 Things You Need In Order To Succeed In The Fashion Industry”
Hustle- I stand on the shoulders of a league of hustlers. Movers and shakers- Mafioso, type A , get it done kind of Alpha Males. To an extent it’s in me, except I operate from a super creative balanced masculine meets feminine perspective.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Designer Jake Peak. “Sins of War”, marks the debut collection featuring head designer, Atlantic City, NJ native Jake Peak. A graduate of NYC’s Fashion Institute of Technology, Jake built his profile working for several esteemed brands including Michael Kors and legendary celebrity stylist Lori Goldstein while launching indie brands and style collaborations. From there he made his way to LA working for streetwear brand Young and Reckless and online boutique frilly. Jake’s bespoke work has been seen at the Oscars, Grammys and at The Golden Globes on director/actress Jane Wu. Prior to that Jake was lead designer at Marna Ro LA, where he met his mentor, fashion heavyweight Eric Sartori. Jake’s designs have been worn by Lunay. Cordell Broadus, Bryson Tiller, Shaun Ross and 2Chainz. Multiple designers will work under NISM, creating their own individual collections, curating breakout designer focused collections.
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I used to take trips to raid the closet of my uncles who ran a clothing boutique from their brownstone in Philly. The only thing is they were professional boosters (stolen clothes). They came from “the school of hard knocks and wanted to be the best dressed by any means necessary”. They had my entire family and neighborhood dressed in authentic furs and Gucci and Versace for decades. I remember one time I heard whispers from adults as a teeneager that my gay uncles pulled off a major fur robbery and they were laying low in Philly. I came home from school to my grandmother’s house in Atlantic City and there was a beautiful Russian sable on the couch that was gifted to my grandmother. I remember thinking, “Ugh I would style this coat like this and that.”, I would wear it in such a cool way. That stale brown color is so dated though, it’s such a regal coat. From that day forward I got heavy into fashion.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started?
When I first moved to LA 4 years ago, I had an investor fly me to China and Korea to develop his line, and then he flew me to Thailand for vacation. It was so inspirational, and I just immersed myself in the culture, the food, the different street underground movements that were brewing, the spirituality and fashion.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I was making an Oscar’s gown that was fully sequined almost like snake scales for a client a few years ago. She asked me to make the colors ombre and to give it a rainbow effect. My dye house refused to do it, so I got creative. It came out beautifully but then it smelled like dye and paint, which was my first mistake. Then we got a trick to rid it of the smell and realized the dye seeped through the lining and the inside was ruined. It took some mastering and miracles to redo the lining but we made it work.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
I see my clothes in my dreams. The visions come from spirit. My clothes are designed to literally transform your being inside out from your aura to your mood to your happiness and to love life. I impart a magnetic energy into my clothes that can only be felt not explained.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
I recommend they travel to exotic locations and connect with the locals. Don’t stay on the fancy resorts — go be with the people- learn the local crafts and talk to the community members. You can thank me later for the ton of inspiration you’ll get and the most exciting memorable experiences you’ll ever have in your life. I’m totally a pro at this. I’ve traveled like this in Cuba, Haiti, Guatemala, Belize, Mexico, China, Korea, and Thailand.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I have a collection launching this month that I designed with a local community partnership deep in the mountains of Mexico. I love traveling and learning the handmade crafts of people who’ve been doing it for centuries. It’s important to nurture communities because I am the embodiment of culture. I believe in sharing everything that I know that I have, and even my spiritual gifts with the world. Every day is an opportunity to give back in the smallest ways even if it’s just making someone smile.
Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life?
“If plan A doesn’t work, the alphabet has 25 more letters; 204 if you’re in Japan”- Claire Cook
I am a resource guy. My whole fashion operation depends on spearheading conflict resolution. It’s important to have a plan A-Z. I live by this. My spirit is so free, I have zero attachments to things and this plane. If one thing fails another blessing is bestowed and I get in my zone and follow where the multiverse leads me. If one route doesn’t work, I have ten strategies lined up to make it work. It’s very important as a designer.
Do you see any fascinating developments emerging over the next few years in the fashion industry that you are excited about? Can you tell us about that?
Technology is really inspiring. Everyday I read about new developments emerging from the science lab. I’m personally curious about fabrics and materials that enhance a wearer’s mood, energy and overall vibration. I’m also ecstatic about furthering functional 3D printing applications in everyday sportswear, not just gowns for the goddess.
What are your “Top 5 Things Needed to Succeed in the Fashion Industry”. Please share a story or example for each.
- Technical Abilities
- Business acumen
- Brand identity — this aspect speaks to what is your voice ? how do you find your brand’s voice. What is your personal aesthetic ? What sets you apart from the rest? How is your story told in the clothe
- Hustle- I stand on the shoulders of a league of hustlers. Movers and shakers- Mafioso, type A ,get it done kind of Alpha Males. To an extent it’s in me, except I operate from a super creative balanced masculine meets feminine perspective.
Every industry constantly evolves and seeks improvement. How do you think the fashion industry can improve itself? Can you give an example?
We definitely need more initiatives to support young design entrepreneurs.
The fashion school curriculums need to all be looked at by thoroughly by industry professionals and challenged to grow with the times. We need to continually spotlight ethnic/minority designers and brands, it’s still not enough. We also need programs grants and organizations that pair and partner designers with global community craftsmakers organizations, 3D, science, medical and tech firms to create + originate ideas in unison as a team. Think cross pollination. There are more startup fashion designers and brands from people with no industry foundation than ever. now there’s a need for More mentorship from real fashion professionals to keep all the products up to par.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
I have so many community ideas you wouldn’t believe. I’m all for free energy. I’m here for a nationwide recycle/upcycle old clothes program. I would love to create a program to uplift inmates, “for us by us”.
Prison reform — teaching them craftsmanship, 3D printing and intricate apparel manufacturing techniques to better their lives upon society re-entry. I would also create a startup business program to bridge African-Americans to Africans. It’s so easy for us to start businesses overseas, we just don’t know how powerful our voice and a small amount of money is around the globe.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Thank you for all of these great insights!