Let me introduce you to a South Londoner that ended up in the small Italian town of Fossombrone doing what he loves, designing clothes. Kevin James Morley is the men’s designer of Dondup, an Italian brand that is spreading around the world and invading top stores such as Harvey Nichols in London. I went to the showroom of their new collection and it is fabulous with an interesting inspirtation. Check it out! Enjoy this afro designer that have added an amazing touch to the brand.
How a South Londoner ends up in the Italian town of Fossombrone?
I arrived in Fossombrone at the request of Dirk Bikkembergs , Belgian designer. He saw some of my work and liked it. I was ready for a new challenge and wanted to go to Italy to learn and improve.
Did you first get into fashion while living in London?
I have always been interested in clothing and it’s power from a very young age. Influenced by what I saw and experienced, I learned quickly that dressing “correctly” is important.
Have you design for other brands?
I have worked with Quiksilver, Tommy Hilfiger and Dirk Bikkembergs.
How is like working at Dondup?
Dondup is unique, it is part of my family. Massimo [president] and Manuela [women’s designer] are amazing people who are two of the most relevant figures in Italian fashion business.
You call your latest collection at Dondup The Wanderer, what was your inspiration?
My inspiration for the Spring Summer 2012 collection is an imaginary person I have called “The Wanderer”. He is a travelling Artist in every sense, but also a “real” person. By real I mean he’s the guy you glimpse waiting for a train or bus, the guy you see across a crowded room. Someone who fires up your curiosity.
What colours and material did you use for the production of the pieces?
Colour wise I used soft natural tones and various shades of grey, contrasted with strong bright colours. Fabrics include Ink spattered light cotton, Antique aspect Cotton/Linen blends and an important focus on Knitwear.
Our immediate plans include trying to present Dondup to the rest of the world. The Men’s collection is in Harvey Nichols and we are opening an extension of our “Casa” in Milan in September.
What’s the best thing about being a men’s designer instead of women’s designer?
I enjoy designing both men’s and women’s clothing. Manuela [Dondup’s women’s designer] and I design a women’s collection called “Quodlibet”, meaning “All that I like” in Latin. It’s a fun, luxurious experimental collection that for a few seasons we haven’t managed to get ready due to the demands of the Dondup workload.
How would you call your style?
When designing for an established brand I think it is crucial to respect and preserve their DNA and history, I try to evolve each collection whilst adding a personal touch to create something new and interesting for the client. Quality of materials, fit and construction are paramount. As far as the aesthetic is concerned I like my clothes to look in some way “familiar” and “real”, clothes that make you feel good.