Founders Share Creative Insights Behind PEHOM 2020 Winter Collection in Exclusive Interview
In these recent decades of economic change and development, the concept of the modern family member has undergone some notable developments. Perhaps the strongest trend to emerge consistently within the present generation of successful young adults is the consistent elevation of pets to the level of human family members. Millennials almost universally regard their cats and dogs with the same level of respect and devotion as previous generations regarded their children. Even sometimes alongside the presence of their own biological children, people treat their “fur babies” just like human beings.
As pets—specifically dogs—occupied a greater and greater role in modern families, demand has risen for more products and activities that bridge the familial gap between human-person and animal-person. The demand for these new innovations inspired founders Kellia and Sara to create Pehom in 2018.
FASHWIRE: Pehom: It is a unique name for a brand. Can you give us the background of how the brand name came to be? What is the significance behind the name?
PEHOM: PEHOM are designs for pet lovers because we wanted to create something special for pets. We consider pets to be family members who share the same lifestyle. We are a style and connection home for pets. Pehom is an abbreviation of pet and home.
Along with the elevation of dogs as family members, there has arisen in modern culture a certain desire to fulfill similar relational activities with dogs that one would experience with human family members, and one such example is the joy of gift giving. People desire to give their dog something special, something nice, and something that they can see the dog will use and enjoy. While it is not possible to take your dog out for a night of fine dining, it is possible—thanks to Pehom’s exquisite collections—to treat your dog to fine designer fashion.
FW: What came first, the passion for fashion or animals? What made you want to design for both?
PH: As product designers, fashion designers and pet lovers, we always wish to do well by our pets. Our minds are open to consider pets in a different relationship, in a different context with a different environment. Pets fulfill the role of a family member in families that understand and accompany each other. From this perspective, we hope we can bring a different experience for pets and owners. The inspiration of designing for both takes the elements of passion and enthusiasm and puts them into how we felt about how dogs and owners dressed and functioned nowadays.
Not only is Pehom’s collection stylish, but its construction is from high quality materials that allow the wearer to enjoy them in any weather. Because of the functionality of Pehom’s clothing designs, customers can wear their products and get the most out of them, without fear of hurting their expensive clothes through use.
FW: When you are designing, is your first consideration for the male, the female, or the dog? Who do you enjoy designing for the most?
PH: Most of all we consider the relationship and interaction instead of staying in one category. They both give different perspectives when designing, because pets are different creatures from humans in terms of body structure, function and living habits. We consider these two different perspectives to connect to each other, and that’s the purpose of PEHOM. Designing this way also provides space for new inspirations in the design process.
Although your dog probably doesn’t understand the significance of price tags, it appreciates quality. And nothing makes your dog feel more noble and recognized than being able to wear clothes that make it look just like the person it looks up to the most: the owner.
FW: Your designs are not traditionally “contemporary.” How would you describe your collection? Who is your customer?
PH: The five key elements in our “2020 Andersen” collection are Innocence, Affection, Passion, Renewal and Faith. Our inspiration comes from Danish author Hans Christian Andersen, whose stories influence both kids and adults. PEHOM is aiming at the same goal: designing both for our “furry kids” and their owners, creating a new fantasy for the modern family. We hope that we can bring joy and different experiences to our customers, to people who want to walk their dogs in style or hang out with their dogs in style as a family.
Pehom is a brand for the sincerest of true individuals. Their products are for people of not only distinguished but also highly specific tastes. A person who adorns their pet in Pehom designs is akin to the owner of a tech company that drives a restored classic car instead of a modern Tesla.
FW: How do you want your customers to feel when they wear pieces from your collection?
PH: Happiness, fantasy and functional exclusivity. We would love to become an item in social media and hope that our customers feel loved and cherished.
Hans Christian Andersen wrote his fairy tales to make the reader feel like they were an included part of the world of his stories, and Pehom likewise ensures they are privy to an exclusive world. Because Pehom is a designer brand, customers are sure to receive tremendous recognition on social media for their apparel choices.
FW: How do you define fashion?
PH: Fashion is a medium to express. Express story and feeling and to make it into something that can function and work with aesthetics. Fashion is about expressing your identity, and as a pet is a mirror of the owner, it is about showing someone who you are through the apparel of both.
People often see the world the way they see themselves. With this in mind, Pehom customers have the exclusive privilege of projecting their own unique view of life onto the greater world around them. A person’s pet mirrors the choices of that person, and likewise, their pet’s apparel provides a window into their worldview.
FW: How would you describe your personal style? Is that reflected in your brand?
PH: We love minimalist and niche in our personal style, but with our brands we prefer to take part in more fun and colorful looks.
Pehom crafts its designs to appeal to individuals who not only have discriminating tastes, but who enjoy fashions that are colorful, innovative, and fun to wear.
FW: Where do you draw inspiration from to create your collections?
PH: Daily experiences with our pets, because we try to create an active relationship between pet and owner. We observe and feel. Also, from Andersen’s fairy tales. We love contemporary Copenhagen designing style and the “Simple and Scandinavian” feel.
Hans Christian Andersen identified and foreshadowed his characters by their physical appearance and the clothes they wear. Similarly, the world will identify that not only is your dog unique by its clothing brand but also foreshadows to thoughtful observers the fact that the owner is also quite unique not just in their brand of apparel, but in their brand of thinking.
FW: Where is your favorite place you have traveled to? Where are you most excited to travel to next?
PH: Copenhagen and Stockholm (Kellia). London and Greece (Sara). We admire the art, architecture and culture. We are looking forward to travel more to perceive and experience the cultural infection. We believe in seeing different perspectives.
Function, fantasy and cultural exclusivity are three factors that influence not only public art and design of Scandinavian countries like Sweden but also ideological underpinnings of history in Greece, and—arguably—the history of democracy itself. The ancient Greeks were famous for being able to see things from another’s perspective, a personal characteristic that a display of Pehom’s apparel will signify to observers.
FW: If you could be anything other than a designer, what else would you be?
PH: I would be a painter (Kellia). I would love to be a landscape photographer, to record life differently… looking at the world from different angles gives people a sense of fantasy in their imaginations (Sara).
By wearing Pehom brands, you are painting a picture for others of not only your inner self but also your ideological identity. We become our thoughts, and what we wear says a lot about that.
FW: If you had to describe one interesting characteristic about yourself, what would it be?
PH: Adaptive (Kellia). Meticulous (Sara).
Pehom specifically crafts its brand to serve the vibrant and adaptive lifestyles of all its customers.
FW: What can customers expect to see next for Pehom?
PH: We would like to show our customers the fun side of having pets. Our next collection will dig deeper on to the next level of playing colors, looking for one specific tone of color and place with a unique niche look. We will consider moving more towards functionality and detailing.
There is a consistent desire to include pets as a part of the symbolic fingerprint of our family’s own unique identity. This is observable on the highways by the great prevalence dog and cat symbols that complete many custom displays of “family unit” stickers commonly affixed to the rear glass of family cars, SUVs and minivans. The reason that people use these stickers is that they serve an important function. Besides self-expression, they help them find the correct family car in the mall parking lot amidst a sea of others that look similar or sometimes nearly identical.