Celebrating 20 years with Donna Wilson
Renowned for her distinctive use of colour and pattern, Donna’s designs are infused with her playful sense of humour, her love of nature and a life-long passion for craft and making.
Born in rural Aberdeenshire in the north of Scotland, Donna Wilson founded her London design studio in 2003, after graduating from the Royal College of Art. That same year Couverture was the very first shop to stock Donna’s knitted dolls.
As her collection has expanded from curious knitted creatures to colourful homeware, knitwear and accessories, so has her appeal, earning her a devoted following of design enthusiasts, collectors, and the young at heart.
Two decades later Couverture celebrates this momentous landmark with a window installation dedicated to the anniversary Autumn / Winter 2023 Collection.
We are so proud to have been your first ever stockist. What initially drew you to Couverture?
I’d been only moved to London from Aberdeen in 2000, and started at the RCA in 2001, my tutor there was Freddie Robins, who was familiar with Couverture. She thought it would be a good fit, so suggested I get in touch, I remember clearly going along with my bag full of dolls, and nervously introducing myself as a student at the RCA, I showed the shop assistant my dolls and they told me to leave them there as they would show them to Emily. I got a phone call shortly after saying that Emily loved them and they would take them all, I remember feeling so excited and pleased with myself! That was the start of a long relationship, where I’d make around 20 dolls for couverture a month which helped pay my rent through college!
If you had to use 3 words to describe your journey since then, what would they be?
Eclectic / diverse, colourful and creative.
What have been the highlights since your brand's inception?
There have been so many, twenty years is a long time, and mostly it’s about working with good people, customers, suppliers, makers and employees. Design highlights include covering the iconic merci fiat with a knitted sweater, creating furniture and wallpaper for the Fogo Islan Inn , Newfoundland, and setting up our own micro knit factory In Dundee.
What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out?
Find what makes you and run with it, we are bombarded with imagery now, and it’s difficult to differentiate but if you have your own unique identity it will take you far!
How has the UK craft scene changed since you first started out?
The craft scene has grown so much since I started, I am all for it. So many people use their hands, making things, creating, in a small way, and now I think it’s not about growing big, it's about remaining small, sustainable and keeping true.
Who are your biggest inspirations?
Swedish ceramicist Stig Lindberg and Alexander Girard used to be inspiration for me, as I loved the way their work spanned different mediums and products. I’d say now I’m inspired by music and places.
We adore the AW23 collection, what was the inspiration behind it?
Thank you! It’s a look back, a nod to the past 20 years, but a reminder to always keep fresh and reinvent. My fave’s this year is the whale bolster which feels like why didn’t we do this before! And Glitch throw, which was made in England with 100% British yarn, which is a first for us.
Exploring an eclectic assortment of handmade and sustainably sourced jewellery, Couverture’s latest editorial is a celebration of free-flowing design that effortlessly blends playful twists with striking details.
Renowned for her distinctive use of colour and pattern, Donna’s designs are infused with her playful sense of humour, her love of nature and a life-long passion for craft and making. Two decades later, Couverture celebrates this momentous landmark with a window installation dedicated to the anniversary Autumn / Winter 2023 Collection.