Exclusive Designer Q&A: Peter Pilotto

Remember that brightly printed dress Mara Brock Akil wore to ESSENCE’s Black Women in Hollywood event last year we were all drooling over? Or that funky cut-out, ruffle number Kerry Washington sported during her Django world tour? Both were by Peter Pilotto. Well, the London-based design duo, Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos are now bringing their complex prints to the masses at Target and Net-A-Porter.com, and we caught up with the designers to dish on the details:

ESSENCE.com: Of course we want every last bit of this 70-piece collection, but since we can’t have it all what is the one must-have outfit?

PETER PILOTTO: We both really love all of the swim pieces. The cropped swim top is so chic and versatile –– it can be worn with our pencil skirt and canvas slip-ons and look just as good in the city or at the beach.
CHRISTOPHER DE VOS: It’s so fun that women can own swimwear with a matching skirt and top, you can arrive on the beach and take-off a layer, and underneath it’s still the same fun print.

ESSENCE.com: For those who are pretty new to print mixing. Can you share three tips for pulling it off?

1. Everyone should try wearing prints, even people who don’t like them – it’s refreshing to explore.

2. Be playful with how you style them. Especially with our collection for Target, you can either wear a full look or break them up

3. Feel confident!

ESSENCE.com: What inspired the prints and the way you actually juxtaposed the patterns?

DE VOS: We wanted to analyze what is “typically us” and the “typical” color combinations we are attracted to, and translate it into the collaboration. In the end, we wanted to do something summery and fresh since the collection will hit stores in February.

ESSENCE.com: Your collection gives me vacation vibes. What are your packing picks from the collection?

PILOTTO: Yes, the collection is very beachy! As mentioned, we love all the swim pieces but definitely the cropped top and matching skirt.
DE VOS: I agree, the beach tote is also great because it goes with just about everything and is the perfect addition to make vacation dressing simple and chic.

ESSENCE.com: Not everyone can pull off a Peter Pilotto look, but certain celebs like Solange for example, wear your pieces effortlessly. What other celebs really master your pieces?

DE VOS: Everyone who wears our collection masters it! We love seeing how girls style and make our pieces their own.

Check out our favorites from the collection above, and shop the pieces on February 9 at Target and Net-A-Porter.