Fashion Finds for Moms--we love them! This week I'm sporting my new tops from LABEL+thread, a luxury knitwear collection. The designers of LABEL+thread, Catrin Grote and Theresa Robinson, have over 25 years of design experience with brands like Banana Republic and A/X Armani Exchange. And they are also moms who have four children between the two of them. So they "get" how fashion needs to function in my world.
I'm wearing the Button Shoulder Boat Neck ($205) in mint/grey. The fine merino wool sweater is perfect for spring and summer. I paired it with Ralph Lauren jeans and boots and a vintage belt I found in Brazil last year. It's a look I can wear to school, informal meetings and to casual dinners. I like the trim fit of the sweater--it's perfect for layering under a blazer.
It's really all about the details. I love this unexpected twist at the shoulder--a pop of fuchsia on the buttons! This collection falls into the definition of refined casual. I love this versatile top and think it can tolerate heavy rotation in my wardrobe.
LABEL+thread, believes in purity of design and material. LABEL+thread speaks to the lives of busy women that need clothing that is versatile and sophisticated. I was able to score an interview with Catrin one of the Founders. Catrin spent 10 years at Banana Republic and J.Crew before she had, "A desire to break away from the corporate world and try a hand at what I always wanted."
Catrin and her partner collaborate on everything. Right now they are marketing their third collection. Here are a few of my questions.
Nicole: What draws you to knits?
Catrin: The comfort factor and the versatility, the fact that you can take it with you anywhere. I probably have more sweaters that most people. And knits pack easily. The long range plan is to make this a lifestyle brand cautiously. We are trying to find an identity. We are adding knits.
N: What about this collection speaks to a stylish mom?
C: It's clothes that work for me, I like to think of myself as a stylish mom. I wouldn't put anything in this collection that I would not wear.
N: How do you set the brand apart?
C: The 'surprises' evolve from season to season. It's an incomplete stripe here or a unexpected lining there. Hot pink is our trademark
N: Tell me about how you decided to work in this casual chic price range?
C: These are difficult times. We feel like our sweet spot is $250-$350...$450 tops--that is the pain threshold.
N: Any tips for taking care of knits?
C: The classic complaint in cashmere is pilling. It starts pilling really soon and it doesn't look nice. The best way to care for it to hand wash. Dry cleaning will only add chemicals to it. Same goes for cotton--dry cleaning isn't a great idea. Don't tumble dry. Flat dry afterwards.
N: Where do you go to get inspired?
C: I am very moved by raw materials. Watching shows is less inspiring than seeing as many kinds of yarn suppliers, or swatches. I look around my studio and see stacks and stacks of yarn cards and swatches...that's inspiring.