Jonathan Saunders is a Scottish fashion designer known for his skill at print and his compelling use of colour. In May 2016 he joined Diane Von Furstenberg as a chief creative officer. In this newly created position, Saunders was responsible for the overall creative direction of the brand and reported to chief executive Paolo Riva. In December 2017 it was announced Saunders would be stepping down from the role effective immediately. “I am grateful for Diane’s support and for the opportunity of guiding this iconic brand," he said in a statement.
Saunders graduated in 2002 with an MA in printed textiles from Central Saint Martins. His graduate collection won him the Lancôme Colour Award and immediately brought him to the attention of British fashion editors.
Saunders went on to gain experience with some of fashion’s modern greats, working with Alexander McQueen, Christian Lacroix at Pucci and Phoebe Philo at Chloé, an experience he told the British Fashion Council enabled him to learn invaluable lessons on “how to turn ideas into real product and the complexity of our timing schedules within the fashion industry.” McQueen commissioned Saunders to design prints for his line two days after Saunders showed his graduate collection. It was Saunders who designed the widely lauded and much photographed Alexander McQueen Bird-of-Paradise prints.
He launched his line in London Fashion Week in 2003, to immediate critical acclaim: his debut collection was given the accolade of a British Vogue cover in January 2004.
In 2016 Jonathan Saunders closed his eponymous line, following the designer’s decision to step down as creative director for ‘personal reasons,’ according to a statement issued by the company. “It is not a decision that I take lightly and I am eternally grateful to my team for all their hard work and dedication,” said Saunders at the time.
"Jonathan's extraordinary passion for colours and prints, his effortless designs and his desire to make women feel beautiful make him the perfect creative force to lead DVF into the future," said Diane von Furstenberg, founder and chairwoman of Diane von Furstenberg Studio LLC, upon his appointment. "I could not have found a cooler, more intelligent designer and I cannot wait to watch him shine as our chief creative officer."