It’s hardly rare for designers to hold down odd jobs to pursue their fashion goals, but Ryan DeBonville’s current gig takes the cake. “In 2009, I quit my men’s personal shopper job at J.Crew so I could work at my friend’s tanning salon and knit more,” chuckles the San Francisco native. “I was so embarrassed to tell J.Crew.”
But the time had come to focus more on his work—Ryan had been perfecting his craft for 25 years. “My Grandma used to pick me up from pre-school, and there wasn’t anything to play with other than my mom’s old dolls,” Ryan explains. “She tried to teach me to knit a few times. But that didn’t work out too well, so I made up a way.” This eventually led to his first apparel creation: an oversized sweater inspired by one of his mother’s Neiman Marcus pieces from the eighties.
Ryan’s current collection of infinity scarves and beanies is more timeless but just as thoughtful. “It is an amazing amount of work. About 100 to 200 hours goes into the design and development of each piece,” he notes. “I’d love to start doing sweaters and bags…and to start using knitting machines!” —jessie pascoe
Behind The Scenes
Get Your Knit on with Ryan DeBonville A 101 to dive on in.Ryan DeBonville, who makes exceedingly cozy scarves and hats, wasn’t a knitting natural—despite his grandmother’s best efforts. “I took an official class about 10 years ago, but I am basically self-taught,” he says. And as a result, his methods are a little, er, unconventional. Here, he shows us how to cast on—knitting-speak for “get the party started.” —jessie pascoeStep 1: Watch These YouTube Videos.“What I didn’t have growing up that would have saved me a few years of t... READ MORE »
Ryan DeBonville’s Guide to Stuffing Your Face in SF’s Mission District Ten meals worth making room for.Born and raised in San Francisco, Ryan DeBonville has got the whole Bay Area on lock. But living in the Mission now means he rarely has to leave his ‘hood for a meal. “The main street, Valencia, has gotten about 12 new restaurants in the last few years. All of my favorites are a block from my house, so I have to go to the gym a lot,” he explains. If you want to break bread with the discerning knitter, here are the 10 places you are most likely to find him. —jes... READ MORE »