What do you do when you’ve designed for some of the biggest labels in the world before your fortieth birthday? Brands like Perry Ellis, Levi’s and Abercrombie & Fitch? If you’re Pierre Colorado, you take matters—and fabric—into your own hands and launch your very own clothing line.
“When I was ready to leave Abercrombie, it was kind of a life-changing decision,” he says. “I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go. I had opportunities in both New York and Los Angeles, [but] I just wasn’t ready to go to another corporate community.”
Fulfilling a lifelong dream, Colorado took the plunge. “Having my own label is something that I’ve always aspired to,” he says. “I was always interested in it. I was always drawing, sketching—I was always drawn to fashion.”
Bitten by the bug at an early age, Colorado often accompanied his mom on her own business ventures. “I had a little bit of…an insight as a child,” he recalls. “My mom had some shoe boutiques [and] I was kind of immersed in it. I used to go with her on her shopping trips, and I also used to go to the store. I saw how the stores worked,” he says.
Combining his passion with his professional experience, Colorado introduced Blake Standard to Chicago—and the world. “Blake Standard is a contemporary women’s sportswear line,” he says. “It’s very comfortable, it’s very chic in the sense that it’s very much a lifestyle brand…that’s really what I know and that’s really what I love.”
Premiering in some of Chicago’s favorite boutiques—Perchance, Cinnamon, Riley and Cusp were among the first to carry the line—Colorado is now ready to bring on the masses. This week, on October 1, he’ll launch his flagship Blake Standard store in Oakbrook Mall and complete the vision he has created for his original collection.
“The concept for the stores is the Blake woman, and the store really becomes a very inspirational place of hers,” Colorado says. “In this case, it becomes her London loft. She’s an art collector, she’s a lover of world travel—the store would represent all her artistic choices.”
And all of Colorado’s philosophy on fashion, as well. “I think there’s two sides—first, there’s respect. I respect designers like Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein. Their lifestyle brands have become worldwide symbols of fashion, and whether you like their clothes or not you have to give them respect for the businesses they have built around them—to become a global brand takes a lot,” he says. Then there’s the artistic side. “I am very inspired by independent designers who create a point of view within their collections.”
With Blake Standard, Colorado hopes to do both. “We are really very much conscious of the end result. We’re not designing for the sake of design.” (Nicole Briese)
Blake Standard, Oakbrook Mall, 100 Oakbrook Center, Oakbrook, blakestandard.com