Your family has worked in the cashmere industry for generations and prides itself on making its products in Scotland. What are the benefits of Scottish-made cashmere knitwear?
Scottish cashmere knitters always use the finest long staple fibres, combined with a tighter stitch structure and milling the garments in the unpolluted soft Scottish water, results in a product which is hard wearing, soft and less likely to pill. A Scottish cashmere sweater is a great investment piece and, properly taken care of, can last a lifetime.
Queene and Belle uses cashmere yarns from Todd & Duncan, established in 1867. How important is heritage to your company?
Heritage is important to me if it ticks all the quality aspects I look for. I have used Todd and Duncan since I started the company in 2000 – their stock service and yarn quality is excellent. Using them helps make my job easier!
Who or what do you have in mind when designing?
A woman who is individual, a bit arty, someone who is a great personal stylist and loves something beautifully crafted and unique.
Which classic cashmere pieces should every woman have in her wardrobe?
For me it would be a cashmere sweatshirt in heather grey, a derby grey boyfriend cardi and a lightweight wrap for travelling.
What are your tips for looking after cashmere?
Hand wash it regularly as it keeps the fibres bouncy and always store it in a sealed bag to prevent the dreaded moths from eating it!
Where do you get your inspiration for your collections?
My collections develop naturally from one season to the next and over the seasons I have been inspired by artists, exhibitions, indigenous people and their crafts.
You have recently collaborated with the artist Tanya Ling. Is there anyone you would like to team up with in the future?
My dream collaboration would be with artist Anthony Goicolea, I love his work and I would love to work on a piece or pieces which he would then merge with his art.
Which designers and brands do you love to wear?
I like Acne for shirts, Margiela for boots, Golden Goose or Common Projects for sneakers, R13 for jeans and I love Paul Harnden jackets/coats.
You returned to Scotland to work and create your designs. When you visit London, where do you like to go?
My favourite place to hang out is on Lambs Conduit Street. A really good friend of mine has a shop and lives there. It’s become a home from home!
What is next for the Queene and Belle brand?
Continuing to develop my dress and clothing collection and expand the offering on my web shop. I like to take things slowly and let the brand develop in a natural unpressured way.