{child_flags:spotlight}A Golden opportunity

for designer from A.C.

{child_byline}VINCENT JACKSON

Staff Writer

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Among the fashions on the red carpet at Sunday’s Golden Globe Awards was the handiwork of an Atlantic City native who vows to “make a name in the industry.”

Jake Vernon Peak, who was born and raised in the resort, designed the dress worn by Jane Wu, an actress-producer-writer who attended the ceremony in Beverly Hills, California.

Peak, 29, who now lives in Los Angeles, has teamed with Wu to create the J. Wu fashion brand. Wu, 28, played Jade in the 2016 movie “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows.”

“We have been partners for the past three months. I have been designing clothes for the last decade,” Peak said.

Peak, a 2006 Atlantic City High School graduate, designed a metallic, copper and black high-end knit dress with elaborate hand-couture beadwork and sheer hand inset cutouts for Wu to wear to the Golden Globes. It will be featured in a runway show in September during Fashion Week in New York.

In addition to her role in “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” Wu is the writer, producer and host of the talk show “Behind the Spotlight,” which puts her in touch with Hollywood executives and is shown in her native China.

Peak made just one dress for Wu. It fit perfectly and was amazing, he said.

It worked out coincidentally that the dress Peak designed for Wu was black. Black ensembles worn by the stars at the Golden Globes coincided with the launch of the Time’s Up group, which has created a legal defense fund for women and men who believe they have been discriminated against or harassed in the workplace.

Peak graduated in 2010 from New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology with a bachelor’s degree in fashion design. While in New York, he worked at Victoria’s Secret. He also interned at Michael Kors.

Peak worked from 2011 to 2014 at Meryl Diamond Ltd., which sells clothes to QVC. He was hired to represent the label of Lori Goldstein, a celebrity stylist who has worked with Beyonce, Madonna, Cate Blanchett, Angelina Jolie and Julianne Moore, among others.

“When we acquired that brand, we were doing maybe $5 million in sales. The first year, we sold $60 million in products,” Peak said. “My aesthetic is very sexy, very edgy, very cool.”

Peak said he knew the mass market was not for him, but he received great business experience and a foundation there.

When Peak moved to Los Angeles in 2015, he didn’t have a plan. He started freelancing and working for his best friend’s company, Young and Reckless L.A., a label that is huge in Los Angeles, Peak said.

“I knew that when I moved here, I would be good,” Peak said.

Before teaming up with Wu, Peak had a full-time, salaried position as lead designer at Marna Ro.

“We sold all over the world. We sold to Paris. We sold to Italy. We sold to Rome, Russia, Japan. We sold to the best of the best,” Peak said. “All these stores where your products sell for $1,000 and up.”

While at Marna Ro, Peak met his mentor, Eric Sartori, who was his boss at the time.

“He helped shape the way I think about clothes and the way I think about a woman’s body,” said Peak, who added Sartori ran Vera Wang and was the creative director for Rachel Zoe. “He’s a fundamental person in the fashion industry that a lot of people don’t know about.”

Peak worked at a denim brand called Poetic Justice jeans for eight months before meeting Wu.

Poetic Justice was a curvy-plus line. Peak was hired to give it a super edgy, modern, clean look, he said. The brand made it into Target, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Saks and other stores, Peak said.

”I’m definitely here to stay,” Peak said.

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Staff Writer

Twenty years as a staff writer in the features department, specializing in entertainment and the arts at The Press of Atlantic City.

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