While browsing through the handmade scarves and mixed stone necklaces on Etsy, I came across Peeko Apparel, a women’s indie fashion brand with daring patterns and dramatic shapes. From sweaters, harem pants, and leggings to tote bags, necklaces, and turban headbands, I wanted it all.
So I decided to pay designer Brooke Fung, creator of these online treasures, a visit. When I walked into her studio apartment mellow acoustic music was playing in the background. Past the living room were sewing machines, crafting tables, and mannequins modeling elastic harness bodices. Plastic containers were neatly stacked against the wall, reaching the ceiling. A rack of Peeko Apparel clothing seemed to be inviting me to browse through it, but I avoided the urge -- I didn’t want to be rude. After all, I was standing in a fashion designer’s perfect little designing nook, this was her world.
Fung was wearing all black accented with silver jewelry. With large floral gauges stretching out the 31-year old's ears and noticeable tattoos on her hand and neck, Fung’s striking exterior was balanced with cute dimple piercings in each check.
She told me she's inspired by utilitarian and military wear, but also loves to incorporate ethnic fabrics into her designs. With a bachelor’s degree of fine arts degree in fiber and textiles from the Alberta College of Art and Design. Peeko Apparel is sophisticated and chic. Some of my favorite pieces from the line include Fung’s oversized open-back draped sweater dress, which she styles with tribal print leggings on her Etsy page. Then there's the loosely draped tie-dyed screen-printed tunic tank worn with a long maxi skirt. Similar to labels like Proenza Schouler or Kenzo, Peeko designs employ bold patterns and aren't afraid of playing with shapes – only unlike those brands, these outfits come with a price tag that won’t ravage your wallet.
Sitting in her studio, Fung told me about the first pair of fat pants she sewed when she was a 16-year old raver. 60 inches of fabrics per leg, dimensions that at the time you just couldn’t buy at a department store. That was her thing, sewing her own club clothes, and not just skimpy dresses -- these were head-to-toe outfits. When she went to parties, girls were constantly asking, “Where’d you get your clothes?”
Fung has a talent for the rare sihoulette. Her geometric epaulettes are made from reclaimed vintage satin with matte and shiny pinstripes. They can be pinned to anything from jackets to collared shirts to tanks, giving the simplest of outfits a high-ranking feel.
She has been selling Peeko Apparel on Etsy for more than two years, and although she envisions a showroom or store in the near future, she doesn’t see herself selling her soul to a corporate monster, which might compromise her designs.
“If I couldn’t make stuff, I would be not a happy camper,” Fung said. It is, after all, her thing.