peter dundas exits roberto cavalli after just one year
The brand’s new owners apparently want to move in a different direction.
Having turned his romantic sense of glamour into stunning designs for just about everyone — from Emilio Pucci to Christian Lacroix, Jean Paul Gaultier and Emmanuel Ungaro — Peter Dundas is undeniably one of fashion's most exciting, experienced, and well travelled designers.
So it was no surprise to see him headhunted to reinvent Roberto Cavalli's rock-chic legacy for the 21st century when the Italian designer sold the company that bears his name in 2015. Dundas himself described it as "a homecoming" at the time, having previously worked for Roberto in the early 00s. All signs in his first collections for the brand pointed to a long and fruitful relationship.
This all makes the news leaking out today, that he's parting ways with the company after just a year in charge, such a surprise. Dundas' work was an integral part of the rebirth of Cavalli, but also the Milanese fashion scene. The Norweigan designer, alongside Alessandro Michele at Gucci and Massimo Giorgetti at Pucci, had, in the past 18 months, breathed new life into the city's venerable fashion houses. Dundas' designs played up the free spirited romantic 70s glamour that forms the backbone of the Cavalli brand.
His last collection was widely praised, with i-D's Anders Christian Madsen describing Peter's new direction for the label as having "universal appeal," while BoF's Tim Blanks said it was "spectacular… an escapist fever dream that scarcely of this world." He was widely praised as revitalizing the spirit of the brand in just one year in charge.
Apparently though, the owners who bought the label last year and brought Dundas in from Pucci, have got cold feet and decided to move in a new direction, seeing his designs as not commercial enough. "I want to thank Roberto Cavalli and the Group for this valuable experience and I wish them the best in their future endeavors," Dundas said, in a statement released to WWD. "I am especially grateful to the ateliers and the teams who participated in this adventure."
Text Felix Petty
Photography Mitchell Sams