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Peter Copping’s deep curiosity combined with incredible technical and design sensibilities have seen him influence almost every point within luxury fashion’s tenaciously celebrated industry. Formerly the artistic director of Nina Ricci, the outgoing Oscar De La Renta creative director’s eclectic career has seen him work for Louis Vuitton and Sonia Rykiel after cutting his couture teeth at Christian Lacroix as an intern.

To inform the development of Design Studio at Copenhagen Fashion Summit – a new exhibition space for 2019 tailored to tackle the sustainability challenges of fashion’s creative leaders – our Innovation Forum Manager, Faith Robinson spoke with Peter on a research call to better understand luxury’s high-level design processes and incentives. Faith spotlights the highlights from her conversation with Peter below.

On sustainability’s entry point for luxury

“I think it’s important that design reflects the brand DNA or relevance. Getting one’s voice heard and making an impact within the industry is extremely important: collections need to feel interesting, innovative, creative and right for the market at that moment. Unfortunately, a starting point of ‘sustainability’ is almost never at the forefront of the designer’s mind.”

On design process and quality

“Research and direction come first, and after this the fabric selection – this is perhaps the first point sustainability can be considered for many houses. To some extent, design of a luxury product is sustainable as it is built to last. Quality is a way in which I can understand sustainability because it enters into the design process most naturally for me.”

“Quality is a way in which I can understand sustainability because it enters into the design process most naturally for me.”

Peter Copping 

On beauty and change

“In the design process I am always striving to make the most beautiful product. It can be a challenge to change heritage processes and house protocols. What can be the ‘right’ choice for the brand is not necessarily the right one for the environment – I know in the past I have been guilty of these bad decisions.”

On incentive and discovery

“After attending Copenhagen Fashion Summit, I always return to the studio and brief my design team in sustainability. I could only do this because I had physically attended the summit. Ironically, I discovered when I reviewed the fabric section that several qualities I constantly used were already sustainable. Unfortunately, it wasn’t something the fabric manufacturer had promoted. They have to understand how important it is and enable the designer to make informed decisions”

Global Fashion Agenda is delighted to include Peter Copping as a member of our esteemed Advisory Board to the Design Studio at Copenhagen Fashion Summit 2019. Learn more about the Design Studio.