Lingerie

In bed with Peter Alexander

Pyjama King Peter Alexander hit the mattress on the Skydeck of Auckland’s Skytower with four Kiwi celebrities; Casey Green, Jesse Gurunathan, Jo Cotton, and Philipp Spahn, the Cleo Bachelor of the Year…

Peter Alexander says he’s never shared a bed with this many random New Zealanders at once.

But today, to promote the his prestige sleepwear brand, the Australian Pyjama King hit the mattress on the Skydeck of Auckland’s Skytower with four Kiwi celebrities; Casey Green, Jesse Gurunathan, Jo Cotton, and Philipp Spahn, the Cleo Bachelor of the Year. Photos: Chris Sisarich.

The Skydeck was decorated as a bedroom with dressing table, rugs and even a chandelier above the bed which Peter playfully swung from for the photo shoot by Chris Sisarich. He was really charismatic in person, and kept the audience chuckling, with his one liners; “This would be useful in real life- a list of names of who’s in your bed. So you can remember their names in the morning!” he said, looking at the names list on the bed.

The label was launched in Melbourne, Australia in 1987 by Peter Alexander himself. Over more than 20 years, the brand has grown steadily from a one-man operation to an internationally recognised business with 26 stand-alone retail stores in Australia, seven in New Zealand and a strong online business.

Below: Casey and Jesse plant a kiss on Peter. Photo: Chris Sisarich.

After discovering his female friends were unable to find comfortable women’s pyjamas Peter identified a gap in the market. He learnt that his friends often bought their pyjama pants from the men’s section of a department store and wore them with a t-shirt. Transplanting ideas from the fashion industry to sleepwear Peter began working from his mother’s living room table. After an order for 2000 pairs of pyjamas was cancelled, Peter made a desperate attempt to place a mail order advertisement in Cleo magazine. The response was overwhelming resulting in 6000 orders and the beginning of a successful business took flight.

Peter is passionate about animals. His first pet was Penelope Jane (PJ), a dachshund whom he took everywhere. Penny is a fundamental part of the brand, featuring in catalogues and on Peter Alexander shopping bags. In 2005, Penny passed away. Since then Peter has adopted two new dogs, Betty and Butch who also feature heavily in his promotions.

Peter’s love for Penny led him to various fundraising efforts for the RSPCA and today at the Skytower, he presented a $5,000 cheque to the NZ RSPCA.

Amanda Midgeley of About Town and Rebecca Wadey of Metro.

Samantha Brown of Good Health magazine and Gemma Young of Cleo.

Robyn and Chris from SPCA.

Story and all other photos by Megan Robinson, 3 November 2010.

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