Short Notice: Interview with Designer Peter Manning

4.26.2012

By Geoffrey Brown

A chat with Manning, who has made it his mission to ensure that shorter men have stylish options at their fingertips.

OUT: Who is your market?
Peter Manning: My market, or who I target my clothing to, is men 5’8” and shorter, which is 25% of the American male population. It’s a demographic that no one has tapped. I was like, I’m 5’8” and I'm tired of having to get things tailored, so I decided to start my own line.

What should every man have in his closet?
Pants that fit—not too big and not too wide; the perfect pair of khakis, which can be dressed up or down; a white shirt; a button-up, and the perfect sweater.

What are your favorite things about your job?
I love getting emails from people that say, “Thank you, thank you for making this line and actually making clothes that fit.” It is so gratifying to know that my hard work is paying off...it's really touching.

What new projects are you working on now?
Right now, I'm working on getting fall and some new pieces ready. For fall, we are giving our customers something seasonally appropriate—the essentials. That’s what we're building right now, the essentials that you need for your wardrobe. Later, we'll start to incorporate accessories and more of what the Peter Manning man should have in his wardrobe.

What trend do you not want to ever see again?
I could honestly live without seeing really short, shorts again. The kind that basketball players used to wear. It seems that everyone is wearing them, and it’s not working for everyone. So I think that is one trend, I wouldn't mind seeing go.

What of your favorite trends would you like to see come back?
Menswear is so stable, trends play out over time. I do love the Ivy League look, and also the 50s and 60s.

What is the story behind your logo?
I wanted something different, something that would stand out. I worked with Alan Hill and he helped me come up with the idea to use nautical flags. So I picked out the “P” and “M” from the nautical alphabet to be the logo of my company. I like it because it’s a real thing but its undercover. It doesn’t overshadow or anything, it fits just right.

Where do you see the brand going?
Expanding! More with apparel and basically, as our guy's needs grow, so does our company. Probably venturing into home d├ęcor, fragrances, the possibilities are endless. I'm really excited to see it take off.

What is your favorite item in your closet?
I have this blue sweater, it’s a little old, but it fits just right. It hits my waist at the right point, and I wear it with shirts or blazers. It’s one of my most coveted items.

What fashion guidance do you have for men?
Men need guidance when it comes to fashion. What may look good on the mannequin doesn't mean you should buy the entire outfit. You have women buying for them boyfriends, husbands, and sons, and they're picking out what looks cute. Though, when a man goes shopping he should try on different things. You never know until you try it on. Be educated, though at the same time stay true to yourself.

To learn more about Peter Manning or shop his collection, visit his website, PeterManningNYC.com

Tags: Truman Says
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