When did you come up with the idea of bikinis & beachwear?
I have always been passionate about fashion, even if my background was in architecture. Everything started after I married my Brazilian husband. I started travelling to Brazil quite frequently. And, in Brazil bikinis are considered a cult. The colours and designs of Brazilian swimwear fascinated me. Brazilian bikinis are colourful, sexy and innovative. They are very different from traditional bikinis. This inspired me.
Why did you choose the name Dunnas?
In Portuguese Dunnas means dunes, generally understood as sand dunes. However, for us, this referred to the curves of the female body.
Can you specify the meaning behind your slogan “BE FASHION DIFFERENTLY”?
Be Fashionable Differently means being the person that appreciates a product not only for its look , but also for its quality. Manufacturing in Italy and Brazil has very high quality standards, and our fabrics last for years. Our products are made to last, unlike some other brands.
Where do you find inspiration for your creations? Who or what inspired you to create this collection?
It’s very hard to say what inspires me, or rather, it is easy; everything I see or feel inspires me. In winter season, the need for a hot summer stimulates ideas for new collections. Music and food are also key to igniting my creativity.
What are your target markets?
We sell in various countries, but mainly in Europe (Portugal, France, Spain, UK and Italy). We also sell in Brazil and Japan, and this year we have started selling in the USA and Australia.
Can you describe your collection using 3 words?
Sexy, Fresh and Inspiring
What is your favourite piece of the collection?
When did you launch?
I launched my first collection in 2012.
Where would you like to see your business in the next 12 months? What is next for you?
We would like to expand into more countries, and to launch new products. We are about to launch a new swimwear collection in April/May. The new collection is made in Italy, and it’s for mature women. It was designed in particular for women who underwent the removal of their breasts due to cancer. We are very excited about our new, innovative collection.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to start a business like yours?
Never give up! The swimwear market is very competitive. So, it is vital that you look not just in your own country, or nearby, but also overseas.
What are the challenges you faced when launching your new products?
As our product originated in Brazil, we had difficulty with standard sizes and finding styles that could be used across different cultures and countries. The bottom garments proved especially challenging to perfect.
In addition, when launching a new collection it is always very hard to make all designs a reality, and have the outcome live up to the idea. Compromise is sometimes key to success.
Is there anything you would recommend for designers starting up to avoid?
Never focus purely on items that you personally like. Remember that people think differently from you, and the aim is to create a collection suitable for your target market, and with a broader appeal.
Where is your favourite beach and why?
My favourite beach is Spiaggia Degli Urbani in the Marche region of Italy. It’s quiet and the waters are clear. The perfect beach for relaxing and going for a swim.
What is your favourite personal quote?
When I feel sad and I need to get motivated I remind myself this:
“Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.” [Zig Ziglar]
What is your favourite colour?
Red…all the way!