INTERVIEW | Dundas come-back
A dream that becomes reality and takes shape in the shadows of the Eiffel Tower today at 6PM. Peter Dundas is back. The Norwegian designer, with a history at the helm of Emanuel Ungaro, Emilio Pucci and Roberto Cavalli, returns to the fashion arena with a new brand - Dundas - a carefully considered new project with his business partner and life partner, Evangelo Bousis. A project without seasons, with production rooted in Italy and a demi-couture influence, as well as a launch that is closely tied to the online world. A decision that the same Peter Dundas explained to MFF in this interview at the show’s location at the Hotel des Gesvres.
Peter Dundas Portrait - Photo by German Larkin
Giampietro Baudo: How did the project start?
Peter Dundas: I started thinking about it seriously two years ago...I felt the need to do something more personal and intimate. Something that was my dream. So I spoke to Evangelo (Bousis) who is my partner and business partner. Together we decided to start this adventure. Besides some of the biggest names in fashion have been created by two men: Valentino and Giancarlo Giammetti, Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana...this is our experiment. After we decided to do it, everything just seemed to fall into place, without too much stress. After my last collaboration with a label ended, I wanted to disappear. Et voilà, now we’re here with a new start.
Giampietro Baudo: It started with Beyoncé at the 2017 Grammy Awards...
Peter Dundas: Beyoncé was one of the first supporters of the project. When we spoke about it, she immediately wanted to be involved in this adventure. As we’ve worked together a lot in the past, she already believed in the project. Then there was Emily (Ratajkowski) at Cannes. Everything moved so quickly between then and the Haute Couture week in Paris.
Giampietro Baudo: Why did you choose to launch during couture?
Peter Dundas: I just thought it was the best time to tell the story of my world. We worked on a capsule collection that is seasonless, special. Presenting it over the Haute Couture season, when all my women are in Paris, seemed to me like the best solution. I wanted to approach this come back in a modern, agile way. I just thought it felt right to be here...
Giampietro Baudo: How will this project be communicated?
Peter Dundas: We’ll do a small, intimate presentation in Paris, to bring this adventure to life. It is the first step on this journey that we are embarking upon, from all points of view. The collection will be season-neutral, made up of must have pieces from the womenswear wardrobe, rethought in the Dundas vocabulary. We’re going to start with an exclusive presentation of the collection on Moda Operandi, followed by a second project/collection with Farfetch which we’re still working out the timing for. I wanted to put digital first in this initial phase, as it offers immediate feedback on the project. Then we will slowly open up the distribution.
Giampietro Baudo: Who are the women that have inspired this adventure?
Peter Dundas: There’s really just so many. My mood board is made up of women who have been on my mind over the years, fashion and music icons. Debbie Harry, Diana Ross, Janis Joplin. But also the women who, over the years, have supported me and have valued my work like Beyonce, Bianca (Brandolini D’Adda), Eugenie (Niarchos) or Lauren (Santo Domingo). Women who I have dressed over the years, women who I ask what they love. Women that have taught me a lot. Women who I have learnt a lot from….I am a man so I need to keep up a continuous dialogue with them to understand how to make them stronger.
Giampietro Baudo: If you had to describe your women, what adjectives would you use?
Peter Dundas: Sensual, because I love to highlight a characteristic of women that have a strong personality. And then glam, in an important special way. But also refined and always a little rebellious, with a rock and roll spirit.
Giampietro Baudo: Where will the company and production be based?
Peter Dundas: The house headquarters are in London, where the family we have created is based. The production is Italian. Throughout my career, I’ve worked a lot in Italy and it is always a pleasure to produce there. When I decided to start this adventure, I went back into the studio with the people who helped me to build my previous projects and they welcomed me with open arms. In order to realize this project, I had to work with the best, and the best in terms of production are in Italy. It is where designers can realize their dreams. I actually feel like a citizen of the world. I believe that having this kind of nomadic soul helps me creatively.
Giampietro Baudo: What do you hope to achieve with your brand?
Peter Dundas: I want to create a lifestyle brand, I don’t want to just create a fashion project. We are working to build a modern label that tells the story of a new generation of women. Because for this first launch we are working with a female audience. Then, in a few seasons, I would like to launch accessories, shoes, menswear and kidswear. I would like to have a child with my partner….So why not dress it in Dundas?
By Giampietro Baudo - MFF Magazine for Fashion
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