Fashion designer Peter Hidalgo, 53, died on January 17 in Manhattan.
The cause of death has not yet been determined, according to publicist Marion Greenberg.
At the time of his death Hidalgo was in a homeless shelter, where he was living temporarily with the hope of benefiting from subsidized housing, according to his friend and former employer Miguel Adrover.
Co-winner of Fashion Group International’s 2010 “Rising Star” award for womenswear, Hidalgo has worked primarily with a couple of private clients including Nicki Minaj over the past few years. She had given up on her study of her.
A private commemoration is scheduled for this spring.
Adrover first met Hidalgo in 1994 at The Sound Factory club. “Peter was in disguise. He was this nocturnal creature. He was really famous for fashion in all houses [of ballroom]. He dressed up and worked in clubs as a dancer, ”Adrover said.
Hidalgo began the New York chapter of his life in fashion by working as an in-house designer and designing the windows of a West Village boutique. “There were five people, who worked there. They were outrageous club kids. He made these cool windows with mannequins. Everyone came by to see her windows and everyone talked about it, “said Adrover.” We’ve been friends the whole time I’ve been in New York. We were friends before we worked together on fashion. All these years we’ve been like brothers. ” .
After the 2001 terrorist attacks, Hidalgo began attending the Adrover downtown studio. When Adrover’s right hand, Sebastian Pons, left, Hidalgo took his place. “Peter was one of the best illustrators ever. I have many illustrations of him from all the looks in the collections. He customized the faces and bodies of what would be the models, “said Adrover.” I remember spending many, many nights drawing and drawing late into the night. He was a little unreliable at times. But he was really creative and he had a lot of energy. “
Raised in a creative family, Hidalgo’s father was a professional musician. Hidalgo’s interest in illustration and fashion began at school in his homeland, Santo Domingo. Hidalgo was selected by the distinguished fashion illustrator Antonio Lopez to enroll in a special course of study at The Altos de Chavon School of Design, an affiliate of the Parsons School of Design. There Hidalgo honed his illustration and design skills.
In 1987, Hidalgo won the “Best Designer of the Year” award from his school. (Lopez died that same year.) Coverage of Hidalgo’s victory in local newspapers helped the designer land his first job, creating clothes for local fashion boutiques in the Dominican Republic. At the same time he created unique projects for private clients.
Hidalgo’s success in fashion allowed him to devote himself to styling, makeup, art direction and set design for television and theater production companies in the Dominican Republic. Some of his private clients have even hired him to decorate their homes.
Hidalgo began traveling to New York City in 1990 to purchase fabrics for his fashion creations, moving to Manhattan in 1994 and joining Adrover seven years later.
“At that time I had no money. I had this big studio on Chrystie Street. I had about five people living with me, sleeping under tables and all. Peter built this little room as a kind of wooden bunker. He lived in the corner, “Adrover said.” There was a lot of energy in those days. You didn’t need money to work. It was about the energy you had inside. We didn’t have a business plan or anything. It’s something unimaginable right now. I imagine.
Adrover’s first collection with Hidalgo fully aboard was dubbed “Citizens of the World” and the couple combined mens and womens collections with “The Surreal Real World”, “the Americans” and others.
“He was a true fashion designer. He really loved being trendy. ”Adrover said.
After Adrover closed his company and returned to Mallorca, Hidalgo then went there to help him set up his studio. Hidalgo later launched his own label and debuted at New York Fashion Week in February 2006 with Rita Hayworth-inspired silhouettes updated with a fresh, modern twist.
Having last spoken to Hidalgo three weeks ago, Adrover said it was getting harder and harder to contact. “I know she wasn’t feeling well. It was really hard to get in touch with him, “Adrover said.” I always told him ‘Peter, love, you should go back to Santo Domingo, because you have your family.’ Besides, you know what New York is like. If you don’t have the money, it’s a really hard city to survive. It wasn’t even young. I was devastated. “
Hidalgo shared the 2010 “Rising Star” award for womenswear with Joseph Altuzarra. Late FGI leader Margaret Hayes, fashion writer Marylou Luther, fashion editor Rushka Bergman, and retailer Linda Dresner were among Hidalgo’s supporters. The recognition of the FGI motivated Hidalgo to organize a presentation on the catwalk in just two weeks. The ultra-refined minimalist designs were inspired by the concept of love. One of the winning looks on her runway was the “black angel” dress with peeling pleats on the back that gave the effect of wings.
Like many young designers trying to make their way to Manhattan, Hidalgo found that breaking into major retailers and securing significant funding wasn’t automatic. But she continued doing seasonal collections until 2013. During that time, she also dressed celebrities such as Kanye West and Usher, who wore Hidalgo dresses at the 2011 MTV Music Video Awards and Grammy Awards, respectively. In 2014, Hidalgo worked mainly with private clients and celebrities. Nicki Minaj wore a Hidalgo dress to the opening performance of the MTV Europe Music Awards, which she also hosted.
In 2019 she collaborated with artist David Salle and AS IF magazine for the “The Collaboratory” project, designing silk-screened cocktail dresses with Salle’s art. “Avenger’s Endgame” actress Scarlett Johansson modeled the outfits on three different AS IF covers.
As IF’s Tatijana Shoals said, after Hidalgo appeared in the inaugural issue, she continued to contribute in every way possible, lending dresses for last-minute photo shoots and creating custom ones for celebrity portraits. She even surprised her by designing a three-piece dress for her engagement party and an “exquisite” wedding dress.
“I will always treasure Peter’s commitment to excellence, his excellent taste, his unmatched loyalty, kindness, laughter, the twinkle in his eyes and his abundant talent,” said Shoan.
When Adrover’s repurposed Burberry raincoat was featured at a Costume Institute exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Adrover told Hildago they needed to update it. Hidalgo then posted an image of a curvy black woman wearing it. “She was a true New Yorker. He built New York’s nightlife. He was part of the energy in the city of the 1990s, “Adrover said.
Hidalgo leaves behind his mother and some siblings whose names cannot be learned immediately.