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Heirloom - Rosie Sugden

Heirloom - Rosie Sugden
Heirloom - Rosie Sugden

The next on my series ‘Heirloom’ is British based designer Rosie Sugden . A graduate in Knitwear Design, her accessories line combines her individual take on contemporary design with the use of Scottish Cashmere. Where the rolling hills of Scotland, where she is based, hugely influenced her designs.

With a philosophy the same as mine "creating long-lasting products as an antidote to the throw away clothing mentality and in support of British manufacturing industry" it was a pleasure to speak with Rosie Sudgen…

Who was your first style icon and who is your style icon now?

Gosh that’s tricky! Well My Mum has always been into costume and period fashion so she has a collection of costume books at home and I vividly remember being completely entranced by Jackie Onassis and books about her. I just hadn’t seen clothes like that before, so elegant, so simple and just chic. Nowadays I’m not sure I have one style icon, I suppose if I had to pick one it would Stella McCartney as I feel she has always been true to her own style and I love that she strives to be sustainable and has vegetarian and vegan clothing.

What is your one piece of jewellery/clothing/accessories that you can’t live without?

A big cashmere shawl scarf! I have a yellow one I just adore and even in the summer I always have it with me as you never know what the British weather will do. Plus it’s so great for travelling as I always find planes so cold! If I had to pick jewellery then I’d say my gold sand dollar necklace I’ve had since I was 9. It as given to me by a friend of my grandparent’s in the BVI where they used to live several months of the year and he was like a sort of uncle figure too me. It also means a lot because my Grandpa used to bring me back real sand dollars from Cooper Island every Summer and quite often they didn’t make the journey as they’re so brittle but I still have one quite large one which I treasure. I’ve worn the necklace every day for such a long time it’s worn down a little so now it’s being repaired so instead I wear another gold necklace my late uncle bought for me in South America with a little emerald in it which I also adore.

Do you have an item of clothing that belonged to you mum or a family member that you have integrated into your wardrobe?

Yes the aforementioned yellow cashmere shawl was my Grandma’s! It is just so soft. My new pug Daphne has taken a real shine to it so we snuggle up together in it - heaven!

What is your favourite old photo of a family member? Style wise

I have a lovely black and white photo of my paternal Grandma in her tennis whites. She played for Yorkshire! Also my sister and my auntie wore my maternal Granny’s wedding dress for their own wedding which I always thought was lovely. Especially seeing a dress transcend the period or fashion of the time.

As you know, I am all about sustainability and not a fan of fast fashion, do you have any tips for making items last longer?

I can certainly give on advice on the cashmere front. Cashmere is like a fine wine and if looked after properly it will age well. I would definitely recommend hand washing and always drying flat, don’t leave it near heat or iron it. And do try keep moths away by keeping your wardrobe clean, hanging some lavender bags or cedar balls and if possible keeping the cashmere in a resealable plastic bag when you’re not wearing it. My sister religiously packs away her cashmere every Summer and it’s all in such good condition. Also top tip if you do get moths freeze your jumpers as this should kill any larvae or moths. In general I think looking after your clothes and buying less and choosing wisely is a sure way to have a wardrobe full of things you love and wear again and again.

Do you have an antique piece of jewellery that you wear? Tell me about it.

Yes my Granny’s half eternity diamond ring. It’s lovely and so sparkly. At first I wasn’t sure I could wear it everyday but actually it’s rather subtle and I think if you have something you love so much you shouldn’t save it for special occasions, rather wear it everyday and enjoy it!

Do you think any current fashion obsessions will stand the test of time?

I think certain trends are perpetuated by social media like Instagram and because we all have such an insatiable appetite for the new and the next I think some trends just die a fast death. I also think we’re so heavily influenced by social media that we’re always looking for something someone else has rather than sniffing out something on our own. I’ve noticed these days I get such a buzz going to an antique or vintage shop or even a boutique and finding something I didn’t plan on finding as these days usually when I shop it’s somewhere or something I’ve already looked at online or read about so there’s no element of surprise. Having said that all trends come back around once in a while so who knows!

What takes up the most space in your wardrobe? Shoes, bags, clothes?

Cashmere! Mainly jumpers, but also lots of beanies, scarves, gloves and socks, so many socks! My father worked a cashmere mill throughout my entire childhood and now I work on my own cashmere accessory brand so I pretty much have enough to last a lifetime!

What is the best style advice you ever received?

I think going back to what i said earlier “if you love something wear it”. Don’t not wear it because it’s the wrong occasion or it’s too precious because then you don’t get to enjoy it!

rosie and her dogs

rosies jewels

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"Masculine and modern, but with a classic sensibility" - Vogue

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