Q&A with Peony Athleisure designer Stephanie Feldenkreis


Peony Summer 2016
Peony “Zebra” Summer 2016

Stephanie Feldenkreis is the daughter of Haute 100-listers Oscar and Ellen Feldenkreis. Her father is President and COO of Perry Ellis International, where Stephanie has carved out her own fashion niche with a new activewear brand called Peony. The brand was launched in 2015, and is part of the athleisure trend that speaks to those who work out, or prefer to look like they are about to at all times. But unlike the classic black yoga pant, this line reimagines sportswear with bold prints like zebra and florals (together), pearls or fish scales to matching, Insta-worthy sport sets. Haute Living caught up with the young designer

HL:    How did your family affect your decision to create your own brand?
SF:    Fashion has always been an essential part of our family, it has been weaved into the family from my grandfather to father, we grew up traveling the world and learning from my father so I have always been inspired and motivated to create something of my own.

HL:    What guidance have your father/ mother given you?
SF:    To always be humble and always follow your passion!

HL:    Who are your mentors?
SF:     My mother and my father.

HL:   How did you choose athleisure?
SF:     I believe it is the way today’s woman dresses, athleisure is worn from day to night, the casualization- a new cultural phenomenon.

HL:    Where did you find inspiration when designing the Fall Peony collection?
SF:     Before entering winter’s darkest months, fall offers layering pieces in neutral base colors, different weights for an effortless theme where outdoor meets indoor and protecting you before the winter. This season occupies a sweet spot between active and fashion – clean, comfortable, transitional, premium, crafted. I wanted it to be bold, strong, athletic, feminine – redefining femininity.

HL:    What is your favorite piece from the collection?
SF:      Our zip up lace overlay, this has been a dream piece and it has been so exciting to see it come to life.

HL:    When designing, what aspect of an article of clothing do you most take into consideration? (Fit, comfort, versatility, etc.)
SF:     Versatility- I think it is important to make key pieces that can transition from work to work out, I am my own customer and with working and finding the time to work out, it’s a lot easier when our clothing is transitional.

HL:    What is the hardest part about starting a new line?
SF:     The hardest part, I would say is having confidence in what you believe and continuing with the same passion regardless of failure.

HL:    How do you keep your social media game on point?
SF:     It has become a major focus of our everyday business, we do photo shoots dedicated to social and maintain relevant content that relates to a broad audience, we like to have a taste of everything!

HL: Who is your target market?
SF:     Women around 25-35. She is a studio girl that is always on the go and lives that fit life.

HL: What are your favorite spots in Miami?
SF:   Soho House and Fisher Island.

Stephanie Feldenkreis
Stephanie Feldenkreis