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The Scottish-born, London-based designer has had a stellar year. After winning the hotly contested BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund and its 200,000 British pound ($309,880) prize, he’s watched his sales double and signed his first accessory license with sunglasses firm Cutler and Gross. It’s no wonder his life of late is all work and little play. But who’s complaining?
WWD: Any fun summer vacation plans?
Jonathan Saunders: If I’m lucky enough to get away, which I probably won’t be, but let’s just fantasize for a minute here. It would have to be Sri Lanka. I’m obsessed with the culture, the beaches and the amazing food. It’s all about the food for me really, at home or on holiday.
WWD: Do you like to cook?
J.S.: I really love it because when I get home at night, it’s still something creative but I can totally switch off and not think about work. It’s the only time I don’t, to be honest.
WWD: If you were to host a dream dinner party, who would you invite?
J.S.: I’d like to have Miuccia Prada, Bob Dylan and Coco Chanel.
WWD: What would you cook for them?
J.S.: Sri Lanken curry, obviously.
WWD: Where do you see yourself and the brand in the next five years?
J.S.: It’s been an amazing year for us so far — winning the fashion fund, the launch of sunglasses and our men’s wear has been really successful. I think we have a strong brand identity that lends itself so well to accessories, so it’s choosing the right things at the right time — bags, shoes. There’s definitely more to come starting with increasing our team. It’s a great time for young British brands in general. There’s a hunger for innovation and real bravery in design that’s transforming, and mixing [that creativity] with business is going to take us to the next level.
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