In celebration of the luxury cashmere brand Brora arriving at the British Wool Collective boutique, we spoke to the founder Victoria Stapleton about the inspiration behind her designs …
We love your passion for textiles and cashmere, but having studied interior design at university, how did you move sideways into fashion and what drew you in?
I actually studied Art History at university but always had a love for textiles. I was brought up in the north of England, close to the Scottish border and surrounded by the best textile mills in the UK, many of which are suppliers today. In 1990 my family bought a tweed mill in Brora. I worked for the mill and two years later started my own business specialising in fashion and focusing on British textiles. The rest is history!
What was your inspiration to create this brand?
The fabulous Scottish cashmere mills in the border were very familiar to me and I saw that what was being produced in the early nineties was very safe. I saw a gap in the market for the very best cashmere in a wonderful array of colours and with a modern aesthetic but using traditional skills.
What’s the best advice you’ve received for running your own business?
Profit is sanity, turnover is vanity. It isn't all about sales, you have to have a business that can pay the bills, make a profit and then reinvest that profit in growth.
What are you bringing to the pop-up store and why?
Brora cashmere is timeless. We have put together a package of past season designs that we are offering with a rare but enticing reduction for this special event. I'm also passionate about supporting anything that involves the Campaign for Wool week.
Are there any specific practises you do to maintain creativity?
I have three teenage daughters; watching what they wear – mainly gathered from charity shops – is brilliantly creative. I also love art exhibitions and seeing how artists blend their colours. Many of my palettes have been inspired by a particular exhibition, like the Matisse or Hockney ones.
What do you see as the future for your brand but also for knitwear / wool industry?
People are very aware of where their food comes from and I feel this is beginning to happen with their clothes. I'm very keen on making locally at the best possible mills, offering quality at reasonable prices with a sustainability that I'm proud of. This attitude creates loyal and trusting customers who care about the origins of their clothes. That attitude I will keep promoting and believing in whilst I'm the creative director of Brora.