Peter Kim

Founder, Hudson

Hudson Founder and Vice Chairman, Peter Kim looks nothing like the typical founder. He’s a rugged Korean-American guy with arms covered in tattoos. He’s a surfer and self-proclaimed karaoke champion. A born-and-raised L.A. kid trapped in a man’s body. And by all accounts, including his own, he’s eccentric.

But his abilities as a leader are unquestionable. Foreseeing the designer denim boom, Peter launched Hudson in 2002 and for the past 15 years has led the brand to remarkable growth and global success. And yet Peter refuses to take the credit, “the success of Hudson comes down to every individual on our team. My role is just to inspire and empower them.” And his lead-by-example approach seems to be working. Today, Hudson stands as the embodiment of Peter’s original vision—a thriving, globally recognized brand driven by passion and the fearless pursuit of self-expression.

And he put in a lot of work to get here. In 1994, fresh out of USC Business School and completely clueless, Peter jumped into the fire of his family’s failing apparel business. He worked nonstop learning the business inside and out and in just a few short years, dug the company out of a $10 million dollar hole. In 1999, armed with the real-world experience needed to launch his own streetwear brand, Peter developed and then ultimately sold his Drunknmunky label before turning his attention to the then undeveloped premium denim market.

Channeling the rebel spirit of rock-n-roll with its iconic Union Jack logo, Peter launched Hudson in 2002 to take denim where he knew it needed to go. The brand quickly gained acclaim for its flattering fits and progressive, fashion-forward styling. Under Peter’s leadership, the Hudson brand continues to set the standard in the premium denim category while staying true to its untamed rock-n-roll roots. Peter makes sure of that.

He lives with his wife and twin daughters in Los Feliz, California, close to the neighborhood where he grew up. He is an active member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and has been honored with several awards for his commitment to community service and outreach through various charitable organizations including One Voice International, YO! Watts, Get Lit and Step Up.