Peter Speliopoulos, the founder of Peter Speliopoulos Projects, is a multidisciplinary artist creating ceramics and home objects. His influences are founded in his experience as a fashion designer, creative director, as well as a costume designer for opera and dance.
Speliopoulos’ lifelong fascination with the artistry of color, texture and craft is rooted in a long and successful fashion career, spanning from couture to sportswear, from ethereal to grounded. Born and raised in Springfield, Massachusetts, Speliopoulos’ passion for melding material and construction led him to Parsons School of Design, where he received his BFA in Fashion Design and was named 1982’s graduating class Designer of the Year.
Europe soon beckoned. Speliopoulos apprenticed in Rome with Laura Biagiotti, and then onto Christian Dior in Paris. Returning to the States in 1985, he began his Seventh Avenue career, first assisting Gloria Sachs to directing design at Carolyne Roehm, and then Donna Karan New York, a senior position he held for four years.
In 1997, Speliopoulos returned to Paris, after being named Creative Director of Cerruti Arte, the Parisian fashion house founded by Nino Cerruti. Speliopoulos’ internationally acclaimed collections with their artistic tensions, juxtaposed masculinity with feminine sensuality, while honoring historic codes.
Called back to Donna Karan International in 2002, Speliopoulos was now Creative Director, leading the Collection brand, and pioneering new initiatives including Modern Icons, Casual Luxe and Cashmere System, creating a 21st century language of dressing, one of international, urban, lifestyle luxury.
A chance Paris meeting with Director/Choreographer Karole Armitage led Speliopoulos to create costumes for Aristophanes’“the Birds,” at the Herod Atticus Theater in Athens, Greece, in 2000. More international opera Costume Design opportunities followed. In a creative partnership that has spanned over 30 projects, including Armitage’s most seminal ballets, their work continues today. Speliopoulos enjoys other creative collaborations, including with Luca Veggetti, the Italian Director/Choreographer, with whom he has several upcoming projects.
During a 2011 Greek holiday, Speliopoulos, already a collector of antique and contemporary ceramics, began to study with a local potter and friend, Ritsa Eliou. Finding a natural affinity with clay, Peter continued to pursue this new passion, and in 2015 moved into more formal ceramics studies. Through word of mouth and private sales, a collection was born, which eventually led to the formation of Peter Speliopoulos Projects.
Speliopoulos’ evolution into home objects and accessories handcrafted in leather, suede and shearling, expresses a desire to present a balance between the primitive and the contemporary. With the same guiding principles of tactility and organic form as in the ceramics, Speliopoulos creates pieces to provoke the senses, as they embrace a respect for history with the forward motion of modern life.