This morning, we bring you our latest interview with Scotland-based fashion designer Rosie Sugden. Having started her own business only a year ago, Rosie is starting to see some real momentum in the growth of her company, with her latest cashmere range featuring not only on her website, but also the likes of London’s Liberty and Matches.
Hi Rosie, it’s a pleasure to continue our interview series with you. Can you firstly introduce yourself and describe how you fit into the world of fashion?
I’m 24, and in October 2011 I started my own business. I design cashmere accessories that are all manufactured in Scotland and I retail them on my own website and I also whole-sale to boutiques in the UK and USA.
When did you first discover your love for fashion? Did your education play a large role?
Certainly at school I was encouraged to be creative and following my A-Levels I did an art foundation at Chelsea in London which really helped me experiment creatively.Then I attended Northumbria University where I studied fashion design and subsequently specialised in Knitwear design.This all helped me find my style and learn to actually knit , but really my Father has worked in Textiles all his life and has always encouraged me and is my biggest inspiration.
Tell us a bit more about your company. Who or what influences the style of your designs?
So much!In terms of colour I am inspired by photography,nature,artists such as Dennis Bowen and Cy Twombly anything really.I trawl magazines, blogs,charity shops ,old knitting catalogues and collect postcards from exhibitions. I’m also really quite inspired by the machinery I work with as there seem to be endless possibilities to do new and exciting stitches and patterns.
You have recently launched your A/W Collection; what new products are featuring and where will it be available to be purchased?
The collection is still small but focussed , and I have continued with some pieces such as the turban which sold out last Christmas and the fluoro pink pieces.I have developed some norwegian mittens which are selling really well.I have also added a new orange fluoro colour to the collection which has had a great response.The Collection is available on my website www.rosiesugden.com and also in Liberty’s and Matches in London, as well as smaller boutiques like BlackWhite Denim in Wilmslow, and in the USA it is available at Henri Bendel in NYC.
You have been featured in various big-name magazines and blogs such as Vogue and Cosmopolitan. What else do you do to promote the brand; are you a big user of social networks such as Facebook and Twitter?
Yes I use both Facebook and Twitter.I think I prefer Twitter for reaching out to new audiences and customers whereas I find with Facebook the response is usually from friends.I do my PR in house and I work very hard on it, my mantra is to be polite, patient and persistent.I think if you are really passionate and enthusiastic about your product or service others will pick up on this and want to know more.
Who are your top five people to be following on Twitter?
That’s a hard one!I’m not really sure.I think British Vogue are good.I also follow a company called Crimson Retail (@CrimsonRetail) who I work with and are brilliant.Other than that I follow so many people it’s hard to only pick a few.
Where would you like to be five years from now?
I hope in a few years that I will be ready to launch a women’s wear knitted collection.That is my ultimate goal really.The list of designs I want to do is endless, however at the moment I am happy designing accessories and as a new designer starting out it of course makes sense to start small.It’s baby steps at the moment, building the business slowly but surely .I’m feeling my way seeing what works and what doesn’t.
Thanks Rosie, all the best for the future!