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Knitting Dunn Right

Virginia Dunn takes on its biggest collection to date for Fall ’13. —Maria Bouselli Virginia Dunn began the process of forming her self-titled line in 2009, after 20-plus years of knitting experience and work as a childrenswear designer in France. She describes her brand as “whimsical and a little fashion-forward,” stopping short at understated—“I can’t […]

Virginia Dunn takes on its biggest collection to date for Fall ’13.

—Maria Bouselli

Virginia Dunn began the process of forming her self-titled line in 2009, after 20-plus years of knitting experience and work as a childrenswear designer in France. She describes her brand as “whimsical and a little fashion-forward,” stopping short at understated—“I can’t say it’s understated when I make hats with bird nests,” she laughs. The line started in knits, but has since evolved into cut-and-sew items as well, with this fall marking her largest collection to date.

Dunn says her main inspiration for the line is her grandmother, whom she believes emulates her target customer. “I had a grandmother who bought most of my clothes because that’s what she liked to do,” she explains. “Today I have customers who e-mail me things they want for their grandchildren, or send me pictures of them wearing the clothes.” Dunn says she thinks traditional, and then pushes the envelope just enough. “But I always have pink,” she adds. “That’s what [customers] want to buy for little girls—pink. And that’s what little girls want.”

Her knit items are made from Alpaca and her cut-and-sew products are pima cotton, both sourced in Peru. The line is handmade in the South American country as well says Dunn, noting that she frequently takes trips there to ensure that her brand is unique from other children’s lines produced in the region. Sometimes, Dunn notes, manufacturers in Peru want to make the garments specific ways because they make them so often like that, and she says, “No, forget that!” stating that she wants her line to stand out. Her fun designs are meant to resonate with children. “I think it’s important to let kids dress themselves,” she notes. “I really think you should interest them [with] the clothes.”

Navy, hot pink and red are the main colors for Fall ’13. Several pieces focus on an equestrian theme while others feature heart details, including a concentric heart sweater. “The cape with the horse will be a standout [piece],” Dunn notes, naming a knit riding jacket and a knit hat resembling a riding helmet as other fun pieces for fall.

While Virginia Dunn is presently sold mainly at specialty stores, she hopes to take her brand into the high-tier department retailers in the near future. “I hope to be in business a long time,” she says. “I just [want] the collection to keep growing and getting bigger and stronger. I hope people enjoy it.” Dunn is currently working on a knitting activity book as well.

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