Durability, Simplicity and Elegance: Peak Design
Interview by Anthony Hagan, Answers by Adam Saraceno (Head of Marketing and Fulltime Man at Peak Design) All Images courtesy of Peak Design

Peak Design is a forward thinking brand that creates its own destiny.  This destiny is one shaped by perseverance, dedication and a will to solve problems in a durable and elegant way. Peak Design strives to provide gear for individuals who believe that the big wide world is meant to be explored and appreciated with practical tools that enhance the overall experience.  Peak Design Founder, Peter Dering (seen directly below), teamed up with likeminded doers to create an important brand that simply and boldly solves the problems of creative and adventurous people . Style.No.Chaser is proud to highlight Peak Design for attributes that are becoming increasingly rare in the increasingly disposable world that we live in today – Durability, Simplicity and Elegance.

“Durability comes from a combination of design, materials and manufacturing methods. We actually think that …”

For people living under a rock and don’t know anything about Peak Design, please give a brief company/product description?

We make gear for creative, adventurous people. We started back in 2011 when we launched our first Kickstarter for the Capture Camera Clip. Since then we’ve launched 5 successful Kickstarter campaigns and have become one of the most successful repeat crowdfunders in the history of the Kickstarter platform. In the end, crowdfunding lets us spend our time doing what we love: designing great gear.

Peak Design’s founder, Peter Dering has an interesting story, what advice would he give someone who wants to start a business to solve a practical problem?

If your business is based on a solution to a practical problem, then you need to make sure that solution is dialed in. It’s not enough to think you have a good solution; you need to know you have a good solution. Prototype, iterate, test, and test again. Secondly, and just as important, you need to make sure that there are enough people in the world who not only want that problem solved, but who are also willing to pay for a solution. Thirdly, you need to figure out how to get your message in front of those people in a way that resonates.

Where are Peak Design’s items made and where are the materials sourced?

Our hard goods are made in South China and our soft goods are made in Vietnam. Honing in our supply chain has been one of the greatest challenges we’ve faced over the past 5 years, and we are incredibly proud of the quality and consistency of work yielded by our current group of manufacturing partners.

We love your statement “simplicity yields elegance” – how are you able to create sturdy items that can withstand nature’s perils with simplicity and elegance?

Durability comes from a combination of design, materials and manufacturing methods. We actually think that in many ways, durability can be linked to simplicity. Imagine a tent in the rain. If that tent has hundreds of seams on it, you’ve got hundreds of chances for a seam to fail and for that tent to leak. If you’ve got very few seams, you’re less likely to fail. When we design our products, we try to do so with as few seams, components, linkages and moving parts as possible. It not only makes them more aesthetically elegant, it makes them more durable and functional.

Kickstarter has been a great source of capital for you; since your brand is based in San Francisco, have you considered tapping into the venture capital world for resources?

We’ve certainly considered it. But right now crowdfunding ticks all the boxes. It’s a marketing tool and a financial tool. It brings us closer to our passionate, supportive customer base. And it gives us the freedom to run our company how we want to, and focus on our core competency of designing great products.

What other brands out there does Peak Design look up to or aspires to be like, and why?

There are endless brands we look up to, all who are doing incredible, inspirational things. A few folks we look up to are: Arc’teryx, for leading the outdoor industry in aesthetics, materials and design of technical apparel. Apple, the ultimate poster child for “less is more.” Patagonia, for proving that capitalism and environmental stewardship can coexist at the highest of levels. Tesla, for making alternative energy sexy and chic. Salesforce, for using their clout to enact progressive policy reform.

Is Peak design open to collaborations with other brands?

Totally, we do it all the time. We sponsor the photography workshop at the Arc’teryx Alpine Academy. We’ve done grants, contests and giveaways with companies like Huckberry, Oru Kayak, Kammok, Goal Zero, F-Stop Gear, Think Tank Photo, 3 Legged Thing, and more.  

Since Style.No.Chaser is a men’s lifestyle magazine, what attributes/items/clothing /etc. does Peak Design think defines a man?

Being comfortable with who you are, that’s it.

What music band/star/act or song best describes Peak Design?

Check out a tune called “Little Freak” by My Neighbour Is. We heard of these guys on Spotify a year ago, and we dug their sound so much that we actually licensed their music to use in our videos. It’s the kind of sounds that makes you want to get up and move…something that nobody at our company ever stops doing.

Where can people get updates or purchase Peak Design products?

We’ve got a gorgeous website, peakdesign.com. You can shop, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking the link in the footer, or learn about what we’ve been up to on our Field Notes Journal:journal.peakdesign.com

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