Transplanted New York designer determined to make Houston a true fashion center
A family emergency brought David Peck to Houston four years ago, but from a business perspective, it's the best thing that happened to him. Peck has crafted a burgeoning fashion design and manufacturing business that sells his collection in 50 stores across the United States and online.
"There are definitely challenges from not being close to the industry (in New York), but there have also been great opportunities," Peck says. "We have been given the freedom to think outside the box. All of the challenges that we have had have also been opportunities to rethink the way the business is run. And in the end, it's made a stronger business."
Peck, a Colorado native who moved from New York to the Bayou City when his wife's mother was stricken with cancer, has created a large design studio in the Upper Kirby District, where he makes and manufactures his line as well as the collections of such up-and-coming young Houston designers as Amir Taghi and Jonathan Blake. He employs full-time 25 workers at his sun-splashed design studio and 20 additional contract workers who sew from home.
"It helps when you're doing an evening gown or whatever, for the woman to know it's being made back here," he says. "It gives you a sense of security that it can be fixed. It doesn't need to be sent off back to New York or Paris or China or wherever it was made because it was wrong. We can fix whatever issues there are here."
Peck also heads up Houston Designed, a Greater Houston Partnership task force that is working to make Houston more attractive as a fashion design and manufacturing center. He believes the city has all the ingredients — cheaper costs, booming economy, creative people — to have a greater national and international fashion presence.
"Design craves community and the one thing we're missing is a centralized place. And that can happen. The medical center made it happen, downtown is revitalizing itself. If we can get developers on board and the people with passion and interest and money it can happen," he says.