Donna Wilson

Growing up in rural northeast Scotland, the daughter of two farmers, Donna Wilson always knew she wanted to be a designer. True to her youthful ambitions, today she is known for her whimsical prints and knit objects – citing Stig Lindberg and Alexander Girard as influences – which draw upon her idyllic childhood and the landscape of the Scottish countryside. Wilson, who is regarded as one of the most exciting young textile designers in the industry, studied textiles at Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen, Scotland, and earned her master’s in mixed media and constructed textiles at the Royal College of Art in London.

While at the RCA, Wilson developed a fascination with tutor Freddie Robins’ method of freehand knitting, prompting her to begin a collection of odd knit creatures. She presented the collection for her final show and, with Robins’ encouragement, approached local design shops to carry her creatures. They sold out immediately (as did her final show) and generated enough profit to pay Wilson’s rent during college. When she graduated in 2003, she set up her studio and workshop in London.

In 2010, Wilson was honored with Elle Decoration’s British Design Award for Designer of the Year. Her portfolio includes solo exhibitions and collaborations with retailers such as SCP and John Lewis, and her collection has expanded to include cushions, lambswool blankets, home furnishings and accessories. Wilson’s products, which use natural fibers and support UK-based manufacturers and suppliers whenever possible, are available in more than 25 countries around the world.