Over the past two decades, Peter Dundas has sat at the helm of Roberto Cavalli, Emilio Pucci, and Emanuel Ungaro, so it was only a matter of time before he launched his eponymous label.
Born in Norway, Peter Dundas and his sister were raised by a doctor as a father and his elderly aunts as co caretakers, who looked after the children while their father was working.
At a young age, he started going through his father’s trunks of old clothes and customizing garments that belonged to his grandparents. He got a sewing machine and then young sewing Peter started turning up at school in his father’s surgical updated gowns and flea-market finds. He is said to have been a class clown at some point and a bit of an introvert. At the age of nine, he channeled his artistic tendencies in regional theatre, but it was pretty much a given that his future lay in medicine.
This changed when he attended high school in America, after going to live with his uncle in Indiana at the age of 14, and encountered physics. “He was not impressed” And even though cultural times were different this had made him take a hard and very mature (for such age), look at what he really loved and made him happy, Fashion! Thus a passion was forged.
He went to Parsons Design School in New York and then with minimum French knowledge to Paris. He then started working as a costume designer for the Comédie Française and the furrier Revillon.
In 1992 he landed a “first design assistant job” at Jean Paul Gaultier. He stayed at Gaultier for eight years. All the while building up his experience, in 2000 Dundas moved to Lacroix, followed by Cavalli, where he served as chief designer from 2002 to 2005. Dundas was appointed an artistic director at Emilio Pucci, owned by LVMH, in 2008, before returning to Cavalli. During his seven-year tenure at Pucci, Dundas developed the brand’s history of glamorous, colorful and patterned collections. Focusing on nightlife as a key inspiration, Dundas took Pucci in a new, youthful direction. It was under the creative helm of Dundas that LVMH identified the label as a key future-growth vehicle, branching into new product categories such as shoes, handbags, and eyewear.
Next was a stint as creative director at Emanuel Ungaro and then a return to Cavalli where he made a short but great stamp, he was home. Although being a creative director on his own right, he didn’t particularly want his own label. There was content with the mixed energy of personnel, the allure and solidity, and arrangements of an established house.
‘It made something stronger happen.’ Yet, in October 2016, Peter Dundas parted ways with Roberto Cavalli after 19 months in the role.
In 2017 The introduction of Dundas namesake label was made to the world in a very unconventional way. Debuting his first designs with three custom-made looks for Beyoncé at the 2017 Grammy Awards. This followed by a short collection exclusively with Moda Operandi in July, and subsequentially by a partnership with Farfetch in that autumn. The drops are made in diverse forms such as runways, presentations, pop-up stores in LA, NY, London etc.
Created with partner Evangelo Bousis, The label is conceived around a non-seasonal structure, released in drops to coincide with the demands of clientele. Their strategy is to be cleverly price-positioned. It is an important message for the brand: guilt-free retail. None compromised high level, well-executed product – a fantastic price/quality ratio. The brand is inspired by the duo’s travels and the glamorous, jet setting women in their inner circle and although at times described as unapologetically sexy and body-conscious, Dundas dresses women of all sizes and ages. From pop stars to royals such as the Queen of Norway, celebrities, friends, mothers, and daughters. Making, The Dundas woman is a rockstar state of mind, not a specific age or body type. Simply and importantly The Dundas brand creates a more direct dialogue with her and her needs
Described by his friends and clients as full-on, ready for it, genuine, hot as hell and as if we’re going to the best party in the world type of guy. Dundas has even consulted for Dolce & Gabbana – and with a trajectory of labels “not for“ the minimalist or faint-hearted he is not considered your typical Norwegian. His parallel world would consist of Dundas at a bar on a beach somewhere. ‘Just hanging out all day. And isn’t that the best guilt-free set of all times?