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The Interview: Donna & Markus



The latest addition to Designers at Debenhams, together fashion designer Markus Lupfer and TV presenter and actress Donna Air have put some huge sparkle into the childrenswear range at Debehams.

Renowned for his humorously subversive knitwear and inspired approach to jersey, Markus Lupfer boasts a devoted celebrity following with fans including Madonna, Beyonce, Alexa Chung, of course, Donna herself.

Here, Donna tells us how the dynamic duo have put the fun into kids’ fashion at Debenhams.

Q: We’re loving the snazzy designs you’ve brought to Debenhams’ kidswear department – how did this fabulous partnership come about?
A: Markus and I have been friends for many years and it was always very obvious, given how fun and sparkly his main clothing line is, how well his brand would work for kids.

Q: Is working on a fashion line something you’ve always been interested in?
A: Yes, after 20 years working alongside the fashion industry, and closely with stylists, it’s amazing how much you absorb and your eye starts to become programmed – this is a great way of channelling everything I have learnt.

Q: What do you and Markus each bring to the collection?
A: Markus brings his years of experience and I bring practical advice as a mum. Markus is all about the style aesthetic and I have more of a practical view – Markus doesn’t like to compromise on the look or the design.

Q: Currently a girlswear collection, will boys be able to get in on style act soon? Can we hope for an a ‘grown-ups’ line for the Markus Lupfer lovers? Pretty please.
A: Boyswear is very much being discussed at the moment – we have lots of plans for Donna and Markus and feel very flattered that people want so much of it. At the moment, we are taking the time to decide what should be prioritised first.

Q: What inspires you when it comes to thinking up the eye-catching slogans and motifs?
A: Obviously the time of year plays to the mood, colour and themes that we present in each collection, yet we also love to go against the grain and do things that are totally different. The thing with Donna and Markus that will continue, season after season, will be its sense of fun, colour, contemporary style and, as always, comfort and wearability.

Q: Favourite pieces?
A: My favourite pieces are from the new collection in February, such as the signature ‘I Love You’ t-shirts (we will be including these in every season) and the giraffe motif. There is also something very special on its way for pre-summer, so watch this space.

Q: We imagine your daughter has the whole collection in her wardrobe already. Does she have a few personal favourites?
A: Freya does put dibs on everything she wants – her favourite was the ’Boom’ jumper and ‘I Love You’ sweatshirt – she is also eagerly awaiting the arrival of the new stuff.

Q: Does she have much say in the designs?
A: Freya is very vocal on what she likes and what she doesn’t like – as we speak she is setting up her own website and own fashion blog. My sister has also graduated in Fashion, Design and Marketing, so my house is full of girls with a passion for fashion and some strong opinions.

Q: We’re always intrigued in how our designer duos work together – do you always agree throughout the design process? Can anyone own up to being the bossy one?
A: We are both very laid back and the type of people that will always let the other be creative, even if we don’t always agree. Ideas should be explored and we give each other that freedom.

Q: Finally, if you had to design a t-shirt with one word or phrase, emblazoned on the front, to describe Markus - what would it say?
A: ‘Lovely in Every Way’.

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