Peter Pilotto Brings Prints to Target

For fashion designers, a collaboration with beloved retail giant Target is a rite of passage that paves the way to a limitless global market. Look not further than Target alums Philip Lim, Orla Kiely, and Jason Wu for proof. On February 9, Target stores nationwide will unveil its most recent limited-edition collection designed by British label Peter Pilotto.

Designed by Peter Pilotto and Christopher de Vos, the label has played a notable role in garnering prestige for the new generation of London Fashion Week that includes Meadham Kirchhoff, Jonathan Saunders, J.W. Anderson, Christopher Kane, and Mary Katranzou. 

“It’s all about a desire for color first of all,” says half-Italian, half-Austrian Pilotto, who founded the label in 2005. Belgian and Peruvian de Vos joined in 2007 with an eye for sculptural draping to match Pilotto’s textural proficiency. “We combine our strong suits,” de Vos comments. Both, at different points, studied at the prestigious Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Belgium and worked for Vivienne Westwood. “We’re known both for our prints and for creating really flattering silhouettes,” continues de Vos.

Translating this aesthetic for Target proved an exercise in design innovation. Pilotto explained, “We really wanted to give [the collection] our signature. In our lab we work with engineered prints and we engineer every garment, but here we had to work with restrictive price points so it was great to find ways to layer the same prints to get different layouts.” The result is a summery collection of graphic proportions: swimsuits, sunglasses, beach towels, jumpers, blazers, rompers, shorts, and skirts with matching crop tops, all tiled, mosaicked, and unfolding with florals in a kaleidoscope of deep jewel tones and acid-bright pastels. From the sporty shifts to the architectural, bell-skirted styles, the dresses (a Pilotto specialty) are indistinguishable from runway specimens.   

Pilotto’s muse explains the effortless grace and fluid wearability of the garments. In the flourishing tradition of street style, de Vos and Pilotto were inspired by the way their friends mix and match clothes—friends of both genders. “We’re still expanding our range and there’s a lot to explore,” hinted de Vos. “Right now it’s still womenswear, but one day we will do menswear.” This we can easily imagine; the tinge of humor, intelligence, and freshness of spirit that accompanies each piece doesn’t feel exclusively feminine so much as uniquely human.