Fashion designer Peter Hidalgo dies at 53 – WWD

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Fashion designer Peter Hidalgo, 53, died Jan. 17 in Manhattan.

The cause of death has not yet been determined, according to publicist Marion Greenberg.

At the time of his death, Hidalgo was in a homeless shelter, where he was living temporarily in the hope of getting subsidized housing, according to his friend and former employer Miguel Adrover.

Co-winner of the 2010 Fashion Group International “Rising Star” award for womenswear, Hidalgo had worked primarily with a few private clients, including Nicki Minaj in recent years. He had abandoned his studio.

A private memorial service is planned for this spring.

Adrover first met Hidalgo in 1994 at The Sound Factory club. “Peter was hanging out. He was this nocturnal creature. He was really famous for sailing in all the houses [of ballroom]. He dressed and worked in clubs as a dancer,” Adrover said.

Hidalgo began the New York chapter of her fashion life working as an in-house designer and designing the windows for a boutique in the West Village. “There were five people working there. They were outrageous club kids. He was doing these fantastic window displays with the models. Everyone was walking past to see their windows and everyone was talking about it,” Adrover said. “We were friends all the time I was in New York. We were friends before we worked on fashion together. All these years we’ve been like brothers.

After the terrorist attacks of 2001, Hidalgo started coming to the studio in downtown Adrover. When Adrover’s right-hand man Sebastian Pons left, Hidalgo took his place. “Peter was one of the best illustrators ever. I have lots of illustrations of him of all the looks in the collections. He customized the faces and bodies of what the models were going to be,” Adrover said. “I remember spending many, many nights sketching and sketching late into the night. He was a little unreliable at times. But he was really creative and he had a lot of energy.

Raised in a creative family, Hidalgo’s father was a professional musician. Hidalgo’s interest in illustration and fashion began at school in his native Santo Domingo. Hidalgo was selected by acclaimed fashion illustrator Antonio Lopez to enroll in a special studies course at Altos de Chavon School of Design, an affiliate of Parsons School of Design. There, Hidalgo honed his illustration and design skills.

In 1987, Hidalgo received his school’s “Best Designer of the Year” award. (Lopez died the same year.) Coverage of Hidalgo’s victory in local newspapers helped the designer land his first job, designing clothes for local fashion boutiques in the Dominican Republic. At the same time, he created unique models for private clients.

Hidalgo’s success in fashion allowed her to pursue styling, makeup, art direction and set design for television and theater production companies in the Dominican Republic. Some of his private clients have also hired him to decorate their homes.

Hidalgo began traveling to New York in 1990 to source fabrics for her fashion designs, moving to Manhattan in 1994 and joining Adrover seven years later.

“At that time I had no money. I had this big studio apartment on Chrystie Street. I had about five people living with me, sleeping under tables and stuff. Peter built this little room like a bunker wood. He lived around the corner,” Adrover said. “There was a lot of energy in those days. Money wasn’t necessary to work. It was about the energy you had at home. inside. We didn’t have a business plan or anything. It’s something unimaginable right now, I guess.

Adrover’s first collection with Hidalgo all on board was dubbed “Citizens of the World” and the pair combined men’s and women’s collections with “the surreal real world”, “the Americans” and others.

“He was a real fashion designer. He really loved being fashionable,” says Adrover.

After Adrover closed his business and returned to Mallorca, Hidalgo then traveled there to help him set up his studio. Hidalgo then launched his own label and debuted at New York Fashion Week in February 2006 with Rita Hayworth-inspired silhouettes updated with a modern twist.

Last speaking with Hidalgo three weeks ago, Adrover said he has been increasingly difficult to contact. “I know he wasn’t feeling well. It was really hard to get in touch with him,” Adrover said. Domingue, because you have your family.’ Also, you know how New York is. If you don’t have any money, it’s really a hard city to survive. He wasn’t young either. I was devastated.”

Hidalgo shared the 2010 “Rising Star” award for womenswear with Joseph Altuzarra. Late FGI executive Margaret Hayes, fashion writer Marylou Luther, fashion editor Rushka Bergman and retailer Linda Dresner were among Hidalgo supporters. The FGI accolade motivated Hidalgo to stage a runway presentation in just two weeks. The ultra-refined minimalist designs are inspired by the concept of love. One of the winning looks from her catwalk was the “black angel” dress with scraped pleats in the back that gave the effect of wings.

Like many young designers trying to find a foothold in Manhattan, Hidalgo found that breaking into major retailers and securing major funding was a no-brainer. But he continued to do seasonal collections until 2013. During that time, he also dressed celebrities like Kanye West and Usher, who wore Hidalgo suits to the 2011 MTV Music Video Awards and Grammy Awards, respectively. In 2014, Hidalgo mainly worked with private and celebrity clients. Nicki Minaj wore a Hidalgo dress for the opening performance of the MTV Europe Music Awards, which she also hosted.

In 2019, he partnered with artist David Salle and AS IF magazine for “The Collaboratory” project, designing screen-printed cocktail dresses with Salle’s art. ‘Avenger’s Endgame’ actress Scarlett Johansson modeled the dresses on three different AS IF covers.

As IF’s Tatijana Shoals said, after Hidalgo was featured in the inaugural issue, he continued to contribute in any way he could – lending dresses for last-minute photoshoots and creating custom dresses. for celebrity portraits. He even surprised her by designing a three-piece suit for her engagement party as well as an “exquisite” wedding dress.

“I will always cherish Peter’s commitment to excellence, his excellent taste, his unmatched loyalty, his kindness, his laughter, the sparkle in his eyes and his abundant talent,” Shoan said.

When Adrover’s repurposed Burberry raincoat was featured in a Costume Institute exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Adrover told Hildago they needed to update it. Hidalgo then posted an image of a curvaceous black woman wearing it. “He was a real New Yorker. He built New York nightlife. He was part of the energy of the city in the 90s,” Adrover said.

Hidalgo is survived by his mother and a few siblings whose names could not immediately be known.

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