“Got an old Louis Vuitton bag lying around? Do you secretly wish it were a pair of sandals? Fret not, because a new TikTok designer can totally transform it for you. Peder Cho is a 29-year-old designer based in Los Angeles who is turning designer bags into just about anything—from shoes to bikinis. “My business is centered on sending me your loved pieces to flip into something new you want,” says Cho.
Cho is actually an accountant, but he quit the profession in 2018 to pursue his true passion after learning to sew about a little over a year before. “To be a full-time designer now is insane,” says Cho. “I’m so geeked I get to dedicate my life to creating it how I want.” Cho began posting his DIY’d, upcycled creations on TikTok in February this year, and now he has over 180,000 followers. His specialty is turning dust bags into something a little more enviable. Recently, he made a Dior Saddle-inspired bag out of a Gucci dust bag, as well as a pair of shorts out of Christian Louboutin dust bags.
The designer says upcycling and sustainability are why he began making things in the first place. “I started to create upcycled NBA pieces for myself, and I wasn’t able to duplicate them at the time,” says Cho. “This inadvertently forced my ‘business model’ of reworking the customers’ items.” And given he loves pulling off the unexpected, he says he’s never short on ideas for future projects. “Every day I’m making something new for someone,” he says.
Below, Cho discusses how he started sewing, his favorite creation, and his next new big idea.
What made you want to start creating on TikTok, and what did you want to bring to the app?
I had a lot of friends telling me to get on TikTok because of the whole upcycle trend. I saw a lot of fun DIY pieces being mixed in with a lot of really well-constructed, classier pieces—and I play in both of these lanes. I make really fun, artsy pieces that are constructed meticulously well. All I had to do was capture each step in its entirety. A lot of designers can do the work but don’t sew anymore, so I knew I could show off behind the scenes through construction. Finally, I wanted to bring the energy and the vibes.
What’s your process for creating TikToks, and where do you get ideas?
I sew every day for about 10 to 12 hours, creating custom pieces for clients or building collections with other brands—so the content is there. I film everything now. A lot of my custom clientele comes from Instagram, so they see my work and say, “I want that, but my way.”
You were an accountant before you started making things. What inspired the switch-up?
My older brother was running his own company at the time. I was seeing his daily life and just wanted that so bad: The freedom to do what you want on your own time. He was the catalyst, urging me to just make one piece at a time. I slowly learned how to tailor my suits from my dad’s tailoring company while I was an accountant. At this point, I was 24 years old, an accountant, and going out every night. Wanting more to life, I learned that I had to really go for it instead of using this newfound practice as a hobby. I started sewing more frequently and upcycling old NBA jerseys I had collected in high school. Finally, gaining feedback outside my friends and family propelled me mentally to believe that I could be an artist….”
View the whole story here: https://www.vogue.com/article/peder-cho-tiktok-designer-upcycling