Living in Paris over the past year gave me a chance to catch up with an old work colleague and friend Ria Dunn. Ria and I had worked together in Montreal for many years, but, on one of her many fabric buying trips Ria met and fell in love with the dashing Italian artist Alessendro Esteri. Together they started the men and women’s wear collections
‘LOST AND FOUND by Ria Dunn’ and ‘ROOMS’.
Walking into their showroom on rue Charlot in the North Marais is always a flurry with boutiques from all over the world in to buy the collections. This time was no different but between dazzling store owners, fitting the model, and even trying the clothes on herself for clients, Ria was able to answer a few of my questions.
How important is sustainability to your design process?
Ria: The collection is designed and created in Italy but even more importantly Tuscany. We use many of the natural fibers that come from this region including linen and hemp.
Where are your collections manufactured?
Ria: Locally in Tuscany. It wasn’t easy in the beginning because of how structured and renowned Italians are for their craftsmanship. It took awhile to convince them that the same craftsmanship can be applied while deconstructing the garment itself.
Things everyone should know about Ria:
She can skateboard.
She has two ridiculously good looking children that keep her on her toes.
She lives in the Tuscan countryside where she gardens and cooks like a pro.
She loves to ride her horse.
She is one of the only illustrators that I have ever met that can depict a garment so realistically through a sketch.
(which is great when you are her design assistant and have to translate that information to pattern makers etc…)
I know she is gorgeous too so you probably want to vomit right now but you can’t because she is also really down to earth and totally lovely. She works hard designing all four collections twice a year herself, so she has earned her success.
After having worked closely with Ria, I am the first person that can attest to her talent for details. Not one stitch goes unnoticed. She has had a deep understanding of luxury and finishing from an early age. At the core she is an artist and fashion is one of her mediums. Lost and Found by Ria Dunn is one of those collections that will immediately make you look edgy and cool (yes I know its not edgy and cool to say edgy and cool but this is a SAFE fashion zone)….but it will also make you look refined and sexy. She has also created a more affordable sportswear collection for men and women called ROOMS. The looks may be more casual but there is still the same attention to detail.