Chris Knott for Peter Millar

From a small collection of cashmere sweaters to a global design force in 12 short years, the premier lifestyle apparel brand, Peter Millar, is being called the next ‘great’ American luxury brand. Chris Knott, founder and creative visionary behind Peter Millar, learned the art of design not by study, but by immersing himself in the apparel industry at an early age and was fascinated by it.

Knott landed his first position in the fashion industry at 14 yrs. old at a specialty men’s store, Ashworth’s Clothing, in his hometown of Fuquay-Varina, N.C. Here, Knott was introduced to the alluring and fast-past world of apparel. He received invaluable exposure to the business side of apparel – buying and selling – and traveled across the country to key clothiers’ trade shows and events to see the latest fabrics and trends.

The experience opened his eyes to tailored design as a career and Knott followed this pursuit with a degree in fashion merchandising from East Carolina University. After graduating from college, he moved to one of the fashion capitals of the world, NYC to work for a tailored clothing company in sales and design where he was exposed to many of the finest European fabric mills and technical designers. While there, Chris came to discover an untapped niche in the marketplace for attainable luxury apparel and embarked on a 20-plus year career in sales representing industry-leading fashion brands, such as Hugo Boss and Burberry, before starting his own company. A true Southern gentleman, he takes pride in impeccable service, superb quality and the small, unexpected details in the product and the presentation that differentiate a brand in today’s competitive marketplace.

In 2001, Knott founded Peter Millar with the vision to build a luxury lifestyle apparel company. The brand began with a small collection of cashmere sweaters and has now evolved to include a full line of sportswear and tailored clothing. Peter Millar is an American lifestyle and luxury apparel brand that blends European sophistication with classic American authenticity. The brand capitalized on an untapped marketplace niche for “attainable luxury” and quickly attracted a strong following including international luxury goods conglomerate, Richemont, which recently acquired the brand.

What you may not know about Peter Millar is the origin of the name. It’s not that of its founder, Chris Knott, but the name inscribed on an antique lawn bowling ball given to him by his mother many years ago. Knott was drawn to the name because of what it symbolized: the 40’s and 50’s – a time period when people took pride in how they presented themselves – an era he strives to recreate in his line of classic American clothing and accessories for men and women.

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