Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Q&A: Rosie Sugden - Scottish Cashmere

Don't you love it how you stumble across something lovely online, but you have absolutely no idea how you came across it?! Well 'Rosie Sugden' was one of those 'stumbles' for me! As soon as I laid eyes on her products it was love at first site. Not only because I LOVE cashmere, but I love how she has used trend led, yet classic shapes that will last seasons! Fingers crossed she will expand her collection into clothing soon....especially cardigans! Lets hope Rosie can take a hint ;)
I quickly got in contact with her to see if she wanted to do a little interview, and luckily for me she said yes!

Hi Rosie, Tell me about yourself?
I'm 23, I graduated last year from Northumbria University with a First Class degree in Fashion design specialising in Knitwear, prior to that I did an Art Foundation at Chelsea College of Art. I started my own business, selling cashmere accessories this year and I live and work in Scotland.

What inspired you to set up 'Rosie Sugden - Scottish Cashmere'?
My father has always worked in Textiles and always used to take me around the mill when I was younger, so I think by a process of osmosis I have absorbed his passion and love for cashmere, knitwear and woven textiles. However I think my creative genes semt from my Mother who is a very talented Garden designer and seamstress.

What is your favourite piece in the range?
I always get asked this, and it is so hard because I love it all! I think the Turban is a winner, but I also think the ribbed beanies are just gorgeous, they are so soft and chunky and I love the neutral colours because the can be worn with anything.

Which artist of designer do you most admire?
I love Denis Bowen's work but my favourite artist is Cy Twombly. I went to see an exhibition of his work in Vienna a few years ago and I could have stayed there all day - it was mesmerising. I also love my incredibly talented friend Alice Bridge's paintints. Designer wise I think Stella McCartney is very talented - she knows her strengths and I love her aesthetic. I also interned for Christopher Kane and I think he is a genius and is leaps and bounds ahead of the rest of us.

What is your typical day?
It varies really. Most of the times I am glued to my computer all morning e-mailing, checking the orders, calling people. I ride a couple of times a week with my neighbour in the early morning to which always helps me clear my head. I have a quick lunch, and then it really depends what I have on that specific day. Some days I have to go to meetings to see how production is or check on product development, other days I have to do my book keepings, or go to the dye house and see how a yarn colour is coming along. I go to the gym between 5.30-6.30pm. I always have my Blackberry with me as I get so many e-mails I have to keep on top of them. I do feel more awake in the evenings and more creative so I quite often shut myself away to sketch ideas and designs.

Do you have an audience in mind when you are designing?
Yes I do, but it is quite a qide audience!! I design things I love and I also try to push the boundaries within manufacturing, and how something is made as there are so many amazing new machine technologies available. I think my designs transcend age, and that is is more about individual taste and appreciation for a well made, high quality product.

How would you describe your signature style in one sentence?
Innovative, feminine and wearable.

What is your most treasured possession?
I have several lovely pieces of jewellery my Mother has given me which I treasure but my most special necklace is a gold sand dollar pendant that I was given when I was about 10 by a great friend of my Granny's who is a sort of a God-Father/uncle to me. I can't bear to take it off so no other necklaces ever get a look in unless they are very long!

Where are you most inspired?
If you mean a place then I would say the countryside as I find it so easy to clear my head and not be distracted. But inspiration happens all the time and it is never in once place or from one thing.

Was this always a dream for you?
yes I think it has always been in the back of my mind that I would love to start my own business but the idea didn't manifest properly until the end of last year when I reaslise that there was nothing I would rather do.

Where do you hope to see 'Rosie Sugden - Scottish Cashmere' in 5 years time?
I hope to have established myself as a brand and be stocked in a few boutiques. I hope the business will have grown and the collection will have expanded to women's jumpers, cardigans etc.

Your guilty pleasures outside of the brand/work?
I don't feel particularly guilty about this, but I love trashy TV, Wispa Golds, The Only Way is Essex & The Daily Mail online gossip section!

How do you love to spend a Sunday?
A lie-in, poached eggs, a long walk with my three dogs, late lunch, Sunday papers, a good film and ideally a bit of Downton Abbey in the evening! Preferably spent with my boyfriend, Fred.

Tell us something not many people know about you?
I'm not actually Scottish, but I've lived here since I was 3 weeks old. I was born in Huddersfield. My father always says it was so I could play cricket for Yorkshire!

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