Peter Alexander (fashion designer)

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Peter Alexander (born 1965) is an Australian fashion designer, best known for his signature label of nightwear and underwear.

Early life[edit]

Alexander was born in Melbourne and attended Mount Scopus Memorial College. At high school, he was voted the most likely to succeed.[1] Following his high school education, he began his career in marketing at Sportsgirl in 1981.[2]

Through female friends, who had expressed dismay at being unable to find pajamas that weren't of the flannelette or lace varieties, he identified a gap in the Australian market for comfortable yet stylish women's nightwear.[1] He left Sportsgirl in 1985 and, at age 24, established the Peter Alexander Sleepwear label with support from his parents.[1][2]

Early success[edit]

During his early days of operations, he worked from his mother's dining room table.[3] He initially sold directly to department stores. However, when a store cancelled an order for 2,000 pairs of pajamas in 1990, in desperation, he took out a mail order advertisement in Cleo magazine.[2][3] He received 6,000 orders from that one advertisement alone.[3]

By 1995, he was exporting to New Zealand, the United Kingdom and United States through his mail order service. And, in 1999, also began exporting the brand globally through e-commerce.[2] In 2000, the Peter Alexander Sleepwear label became part of the Just Jeans group of companies - with Alexander continuing as manager.[3]

In 2002, he also designed an exclusive range of bedding for Sheridan.[3][4]

Stand-alone stores[edit]

In 2004, Alexander opened the first stand-alone Peter Alexander Sleepwear store in the Melbourne Central Shopping Centre in Melbourne.[4][5] He has since expanded the stores into every state of Australia.[5] In 2008, he opened his flagship store in the United States on the Robertson Boulevard shopping district in Los Angeles, and later expanded to two more. However, the U.S. stores were closed in 2009 due to the late-2000s financial crisis.[6][7]

Animal welfare[edit]

Alexander is a large supporter of animal rights and welfare. He is both a corporate supporter and participant in the RSPCA's Million Paws Walk in Melbourne - usually winning the celebrity dog challenge.[8][9]

He was inspired to become more involved in animal rights and welfare after his dachshund "Penelope" (also his label mascot) injured her back.[10]

In 2008, for the opening of his Robertson Boulevard flagship store in Los Angeles, Alexander collaborated with Katherine Heigl to design a pair of pajamas for charity - with all proceeds from the pajama sales going directly to local animal rescue groups.[8][11][12]

Since 2011, he has teamed up with the RSPCA to produce a calendar of male models wearing his underwear and posing with rescued dogs.[13] All proceeds from the calendar sales go directly to the RSPCA.[13]

Brand popularity[edit]

The Peter Alexander Sleepwear label has garnered a strong celebrity following, including from: Kristin Cavallari, Toni Collette, Rachel Griffiths, Katherine Heigl, Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, Mandy Moore, Pink, Alicia Silverstone, Lady Gaga, Reece Mastin and Naomi Watts.[4][11]

He is often referred to as the Australian "Pajama King".[10][11]

Personal life[edit]

Alexander lives in Melbourne.[10] He is also a sessional lecturer in fashion marketing at RMIT.[2] He has been openly gay since his teenage years.[14]

See also[edit]

  • Just Group - parent company of Peter Alexander Sleepwear

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Peter Alexander, Celebrity Speakers, retrieved 27 December 2011
  2. ^ a b c d e Alexander, Peter, Cyber Fibers - Online Register of Australian Fashion and Textile Design, 2000: Francis Burke Textile Resource Center, retrieved 27 December 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d e Peter Alexander, Celebrity Speakers, retrieved 27 December 2011
  4. ^ a b c Pittorino, Jane, Katherine Heigl and Kristin Cavalleri [sic] heart Peter Alexander, 2Threads (12 December 2008), retrieved 27 December 2011
  5. ^ a b Stores, Peter Alexander Sleepwear, retrieved 27 December 2011
  6. ^ Magner, Erin, Peter Alexander closes last remaining US shops, Racked (23 June 2009), retrieved 27 December 2011
  7. ^ US recession leads to closure of Peter Alexander USA stores, Premier Investments Limited, retrieved 27 December 2011
  8. ^ a b Peter Alexander Pet Charity Opening, JollyPeople.com (23 October 2008), retrieved 27 December 2011
  9. ^ Corporate Supporters, RSPCA (Australia), retrieved 27 December 2011
  10. ^ a b c Davis, Kerry, My Love: Pyjama king Peter Alexander, North Side (10 May 2011), retrieved 27 December 2011
  11. ^ a b c Peter's Pajama Party, OK! (10 November 2008), retrieved 27 December 2011
  12. ^ New PJ designs inspired by Katherine Heigl's lil' pup Romeo, People (12 November 2008), retrieved 27 December 2011
  13. ^ a b RSPCA Calendar, Peter Alexander Sleepwear, retrieved 27 December 2011
  14. ^ Milestones: Peter Alexander, Agenda magazine, 11 April 2004, p. 43

External links[edit]