The thing I enjoy about writing these posts is that it introduces to me a lot of different people that I wouldn’t know otherwise. There is no reason why I should know about some of the people that I write about. Maybe if I joined Jeopardy and somehow all of the questions were about the people or events that I researched about. I have to admit that there are people whose work I have since begun to admire after writing about them. But even then, I will immediately forget about the person that I write about once I click “Publish.”
One thing that I often notice is that there is a moment in a person’s life shapes the path that they will take. It could be something like a cousin of yours drawing a bird on the side of a paper bag that would lead you a career in graphic design. Or it could be as normal just growing up in a household that listened to music a lot. There is no way of know what these events are. They manifest at the most random times. It could manifest where you were a kid. Or even later in life. You never really know when it’s going to happen.
For Peter Hurley, it was when he was training for the Olympics that was happening in Atlanta. When I was reading up on his origin story of sorts, I read that he was sailing a Laser dinghy. I have seen a few of the events in the Olympics. But I didn’t know there was an event that called for a type of dinghy called the Laser. Most of the events that I have seen were most the ones that happened on-ground or in a swimming hall. It was during one of his practices or one of the qualifying events that former DKNY designer Caggie Simonelli saw him.
If you saw him during his prime, you could definitely see what Caggie saw in him. So when he finished sailing his Laser dinghy, Caggie approached him. During their conversation, Peter mentioned that he needed money in order to reach his goal of competing at the summer Olympic games next year. That sort of start the trajectory that would change Peter’s life. So they decided to meet up later that day at the house of Peter’s neighbor John Manderson. Surprisingly, John was Caggie’s brother-in-law. Who would’ve thought?
Peter already had sponsors at the time, but he still needed money in order to train and participate in regattas. They were able to raise money for him, but he need more that what they managed to raise. His dad was the person who really believed in him. He also trained to become an Olympic athlete but it proved to be unsuccessful. So I guess his dad was sort of using him as a proxy to go to the Olympics.
On the other side of that, Caggie was trying to contact every person she knew at different companies so that there was a person who they could send a portfolio. A skill that everybody should know is how to network. The main problem is that they didn’t really have any pictures of Peter that wasn’t him in the water sailing. So Caggie contacted her childhood friend Wendy Hammond to take photos of him.
A lot of the photos they were mostly Peter getting out of the water and hauling his dinghy back to shore. Peter was just eager to do a good job at it. The next part of this whole plot is getting to meet with Ralph Lauren. Caggie used her contacts in DKNY to get a chance for a meeting. Laura Reiff, a model at DKNY, jumped on board and contacted somebody she knew who worked at the men’s collection team at Ralph Lauren.
The rest was sort of history. Peter’s Olympic dream didn’t really plan out as he’d hope. He moved to New York to try building a career as a model instead. He already had the experience. It was through Bruce Weber’s suggestion that he try to take photographs himself. Somehow that suggestion because the turning point for his career. Ever since then, he has made it his mission to become the best portrait photographer out there. Looking at his work, he definite does a great job at it. It’s no wonder he’s earned a net worth of $3,000,000.