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Jourdan Dunn [INTERVIEW] "Everyone has grown up with M&S - working with them is a dream come true."

We meet Jourdan Dunn, the model, mum and now fashion designer, to talk about her kids fashion collection for Marks & Spencer: Lil’ LonDunn

Posted: 27 April 2016
by Catherine Hudson

Lil' LonDunn

How do you feel about working with Marks & Spencer?

Marks & Spencer approached me to work on a collaboration and I was completely shocked because M&S is such an iconic brand. At the start I wondered if they didn’t really understand what kind of collection I would want to create, but then we came to a mutual vision and they were 100% down with what I wanted to do. They wanted me to bring a little ‘Jourdan Dunn’ to M&S, and they were totally supportive. So I knew it was going to be amazing. Everyone has grown up with M&S, so it’s a dream come true. Every step of the way, I couldn’t believe what was happening. I was thinking, ‘I can't believe I’m in a design meeting right now!’ for something that I have wanted to happen for so long.

We hear you have family in the campaign...

My son Riley is one of the models in the Lil' LonDunn campaign. I felt like I was one of ‘those’ parents, on the campaign shoot, where all the other parents were hanging out upstairs, and I was on the set going ‘My baby!’ And I had to stop myself and calm down.

How would you describe your collection?

The collection has elements of my own personal style. I was thinking about when I was a kid, how would I have wanted to dress. I wasn’t a girly girl and I grew up with brothers, who were always rocking tracksuits, and I wanted to copy them – so I definitely had that in mind. I also wanted it to be personal, so it has the letter ‘R’, since it’s Riley’s initial, and Lon-Dunn, too.

Did you have a theme in mind?

I wanted to create something unisex, something for boys and girls, and with the exception of a couple of dresses, which still aren’t overly girly, I think I have. I wanted it to be easy to style, to mix in with other pieces and other items in the wardrobe you already have. So you can rock the bomber jacket with a white T-shirt or the hoodie with jeans, and lots of the other pieces, so they can mix and match and the pieces can all play nicely together.

What gives your collection a point of difference?

I feel like being totally unisex and giving parents the option of something other than pink or blue gives my collection a point of difference. When I was in the process of designing, I wanted to make sure some of the things went up big enough so that they would fit me! Which makes me think I would like to make a womenswear range. I’m all about brand expansion, and this is something that I want to have longevity, so there’s definitely a chance of me doing that, expanding and taking it to the next level.

You're a busy, working mum - do you have a typical morning? And what does Riley like to choose to wear?

Riley is honestly is such a homebody, and if he could just live in his pyjamas, he would! But because I encourage him to get dressed, he always chooses loungewear, so a T-shirt, sweatpants… unless he is going out somewhere he is all about keeping it really relaxed, chilled and comfortable. He is all about the comfort.

I’m not the same. I just like to dress up. Even if I’m at home, I like to wear my sweatpants, but they will always have some eye-catching design about them, like a camouflage print on them or something.

When I am working, Riley stays at home with my mum, since he has school. But this year, I am making a point to make sure he travels as much as possible with me, on personal trips. He is ready to explore the world! He knows that the world is bigger than Greenford [Jourdan’s hometown] London! He has a list and tells me he wants to go ‘here, here and here’...

Has your fashion style changed much since you have become a mum? 

I feel like since becoming a mum, I do take comfort into account a lot more, and when I first had him, rocking heels was not the one! Pushing a pram and wearing heels? That’s a 'no'. But in general, my style hasn’t really changed.

Three things you have to have in my bag when you're out with Riley?

Lego – he is obsessed with Lego, just to keep him entertained. Hand gel, because he puts his hands everywhere. And, if my bag is big enough, his iPad, but whatever size, I always need to have a snack, because he’s a greedy little boy, so I have to have something at the ready.

Do you want to have more children?

My son has been on my case for the last year, telling me ‘mummy, I want a brother or sister’, so he has definitely been putting pressure on me. But my brother just had a baby, so, that’s kind of taken the pressure off, because Riley is enjoying being an older cousin. So, I have some time now, but I would definitely like to have kids further down the line.

How do you always look so 'awake'?!

I think the most important thing for faking looking like you are awake is having a good skincare regime. And, although I know lots of people do it, a make up wipe isn’t enough at night. You need to take your make up off, and it is worth investing spending an extra few minutes just to cleanse your skin. Also, make time to fit in a mask, even weekly because it’s those things that will make the difference. If I know I am going to be waking up early in the morning, I do a mask in the evening so that my face is more radiant than dead looking!

I love Sunday Riley, which does an amazing serum called Good Genes. I have so many face mask, but I love SKII which has a brilliant sheet mask and an Estee Lauder mask called Night Time Repair.

Finally, what are your and Riley's favourite pieces from your Lil' LonDunn collection?

Riley loves the bomber jacket, which I love him in too, and the camouflage print set, which looks amazing on him. And on the girls who were wearing it on the look book shoot, which inspired me to want one, too! I love a plain white T-shirt, too, because you can style it with a pair of jeans or leather pants, and boom, you’re good to go!

Shop Jourdan Dunn's first Lil' LonDunn kids' fashion collection at Marks & Spencer, online, now

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