PEDER CHO'S UTOPIA
Peder Cho Creates His Own Utopia to Create Never-Before-Seen Pieces
Utopia is a centuries-old term for a kind of heavenly ideal, and in emerging designer Peder Cho’s perfect world there’s an endless supply of high-end handbags for him to repurpose for creative ends.
The designer recently debuted his first-ever capsule collection—Utopia by Cho—in partnership with the website platform Squarespace and livestream shopping app NTWRK. The collection consists of seven handmade, limited-edition pieces made from sustainable materials in batches ranging from 15 to 40 units each. Remaining items are available at Cho.moda.
The 29-year-old Los Angeles–based designer left a career in accounting to pursue his dream of being a full-time creative. When he began upcycling pieces from his closet in 2018, he leveraged social media to demonstrate his craft and share his creations with the world. He quickly went viral on social media, building a large following and ultimately his own community around the idea of taking existing items and turning them into something new, such as an old Louis Vuitton bag transformed into a pair of sandals. The search term “peder cho fashion designer” has over 4 billion views on the social-media platform TikTok, and the designer has already received coverage by Vogue and Complex.
Cho’s style is based on neutral tones and a streetwear vibe. From white parachute pants and a cropped baby tee to a vegan-leather tote bag and sleek mini black silicon backpack, the capsule collection exemplifies an upcycled utopia and doing what you want. “The inspiration behind Utopia is that it is a symbolic reference to live your best life possible,” declared the designer. “I switched my life from finance to art. I was able to create my own Utopian life.”
That dream world also includes collaborations with huge clients including Atari, Reebok, Adidas and even Domino’s Pizza. The collaboration page on Cho’s website encourages prospective partners to pitch him the wildest idea possible. “We can make pieces to highlight how your brand recycles and demonstrate creative outlets to do so,” he states. “I can offer extremely custom, never-seen-before pieces. The goal is to make something together that the world has never seen before.”
Photos courtesy of Utopia by Cho.