Knitting with designer Ryan DeBonville

il_570xN.246373779During a recent trip to San Francisco, I was introduced to a fantastic knitwear line by designer Ryan DeBonville. After spending the weekend in SF warmly wrapped in one of his cashmere scarves, I had to get to know the designer behind this bundle of goodness.

Justin Howard – Tell me about Toni, your first collection, and the story behind the purple yarn.

Ryan DeBonville – In 2002 I started styling for photo shoots, and I made that turtleneck sweater. The company I was getting yarn from had a really nice purple I liked, so I bought all of it. I made a turtleneck, a poncho and a shrug. Purple was the huge look for fall that season. I had tried to shop them around, and that wound up not working out. I wound up having eighty pieces! I called Venus Superstar, and she took them and sold out of them in six months! But then I kind of hit a wall – I didn’t plan any further than that. It wasn’t feasible to be doing all those sweaters on my own.

For more on my exclusive interview with designer Ryan DeBonville, check out my fashion designer column on, part of the New York Times Company.

Justin Howard

Justin Travis Howard has traveled the world and loves diving into local night life where ever he happens to wander. His insights are designed to promote the hidden byways of Modern Culture.

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