Sunrise Studio

“We have worked with some of the best designers in the industry, and have built a solid reputation thanks to our customer-centric approach.”

Peter ChanManaging Partner

“My whole professional life has been in the Garment Center.”

Peter Chan has worked in fashion since 1984. His initial dream was to work as a fashion designer, but after studying at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), he decided to shift gears and pursue a career in production management. After school, he worked for two years at Donna Karan, followed by four years at Halston. It is in 2004 that Peter met Terri Huang, while working at a small French fashion company. Peter and Terri Huang were both working in production management and had a very hard time finding fashion manufacturing contractors that would best fit their needs. Uncovering a real market need, the pair decided to start their own fashion contracting business that same year, three short months after they first met. Having worked on the designer side for several years, both Peter and Terri Huang understood how to create a sophisticated fashion contracting business that would meet all designers’ needs. Today, Sunrise Studio works as a leading fashion manufacturer in the Garment District, and in addition to remaining the business’ managing director, Peter also works full-time as an FIT professor and head of the school’s production management department.

Faces of the Garment District - Sunrise Studio Peter Tam
Faces of the Garment District - Sunrise Studio Born Free

“We have worked with some of the best designers in the industry, and have built a solid reputation thanks to our customer-centric approach.”

Over the last 17 years, Sunrise Studio has focused on consistently delivering quality products on-time to both established and emerging designers. When the business first started, Peter and Terri Huang primarily worked with high-end couture designers like Oscar De La Renta, but in recent years, the company has also served the needs of smaller and emerging designers. Today, Sunrise Studio focuses on developing bottoms and outerwear for clients like the Row, as well as activewear and loungewear for such clients as Nili Lotan. Loungewear’s popularity has grown exponentially during the pandemic, and Sunrise Studio’s growing list of loungewear clients has certainly confirmed this trend.

In addition to impeccable quality, it is the close attention that Sunrise Studio devotes to its customers that sets the company apart. Terri Huang is responsible for managing all client relationships and has gained a well-deserved reputation for superior customer service, thanks to her prompt response time. Both she and Peter have banked on quality and reliability and built true loyalty among the designers they serve. These solid relationships have been particular useful when virtual meetings replaced in-person communication during the pandemic.

“Emerging designers and economic development organizations are critical to promote local production.”

Over the years, Sunrise Studio’s biggest challenge has been hiring skilled and experienced workers. Many of the company’s devoted expert workers are retiring, and factories are having a hard time attracting the younger generation. While recruitment has proven tricky, Peter and Terri Huang have faced the challenge head on and are focused on employing and training the very best. The second major challenge is related to overseas competition, with many of the larger established designers relocating their production to Europe or Asia. Peter sees focusing on emerging designers’ business as part of the solution; in fact, Sunrise Studio has experienced significant growth pre-Covid due in part to the emergence of new designers. He and Terri Huang also applaud the efforts of local economic development organizations focused on promoting domestic production, particularly after COVID’s devastating effects. Like so many other businesses, Sunrise Studio had to downsize during the pandemic, consolidating its operations onto one floor. Thankfully, the future is looking much brighter: business has already improved significantly in the past few months, and both Peter and Terri Huang are planning for aggressive growth over the coming years.

Faces of the Garment District - Sunrise Studio Emerging Designers Michelle Obama

Q&A with Peter Chan

What keeps you motivated?

Passion lies at the base of what we do. Right now, post-Covid, we are just motivated to survive!

Who influenced you most?

Academically, my professors at the University of Illinois. Professionally, my first boss, Frank Tignino. I was his assistant, and he had very high expectations. I worked very hard, and learned a lot.

What is your advice to someone starting out in this business?

For designers, be cautious about the costs, and do not create overly complicated garments.