Brora Shakes Up the NYC Neighbourhood!

madison avenue

Brora has been officially launched on New York’s MA with the party of all parties! The kilt clad bag piper piped up at 6pm and they were off, a steady stream of key press, enthusiastic New Yorkers and eccentric Brits flowed through the twinkling shop to congratulate Victoria and marvel at the quality and colours of the Scottish cashmere. Drinks flowed whilst people shopped and declared undying love for Brora.

BRORA New York Store Opening Celebration

Victoria Stapleton, wearing our lace & silk blouse and cashmere lace cropped cardigan, and Stella Tennant, wearing our cashmere two tone purl gauzy jumper and cashmere patchwork chartouche. Cobalt must be the colour of the season!

The great and the good of New York society mingled on the upper east side with the Brits including fashion royalty Stella Tennant, Victoria’s good friend who had flown in for the evening.

New York socialites

Victoria Stapleton, Nick Crean, Jayne Pickering

Jayne Pickering, Marie Claire‘s Fashion director chatted to Nick Crean, head honcho at the other colourful British brand, Prestat chocolates, boxes of which were given to delighted guests. Hendricks gin was splashed over ice and lemon for that oh-so-English G & T, whilst champagne flowed and the chatter got louder.

launch party

Camilla Guinness, Tim Hunt, Jayne Pickering

Brora cashmere

Johnny Pilkington, Victoria Stapleton, Sandra Van Wyck

New York Times newspaper

Stella Tennant, Hugo Guinness

The artist & illustrator Hugo Guinness showed up, as did flamboyant art dealer Tim Hunt, both old friends of Victoria’s husband, Johnny, who was there looking dapper as ever, sporting our Liberty print shirt with vintage American striped braces. A few Italians were thrown in for good measure including Count Manfredi Della Gheradesca, who was rushing between Brora and the all important Sotheby’s contemporary art sale, the other great event of the night.

party season

Stephanie Clark, Count Manfredi Della Gheradesca

Earlier in the day, Victoria had entertained Lee Radziwill, the elegant and beautiful sister of the late First Lady Jackie Kennedy, who instantly fell in love with both Victoria and the store, and left clutching her Brora shopping with delight.

Christmas party wear

There is no doubt that is was a truly spectacular evening, and that New York has embraced Brora with a huge hug, knowing winter this year will be a cosier and more colourful affair!

 

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Until Next Year, Woolly Friends!

campaign for wool

Sadly, the Wool Week shenanigans are now over for the U.K. We had so much fun taking part in the Wool Ride, knitting with customers in Sloane Square, viewing woolly art and dressing our woolly shop window; a fluffy bed of giant pom-poms made by design student Lanya Davis, who also helped merchandise our Nomad window for autumn.

arts and craft Chelsea shopping
mannequin knitting

If you’re interested in having our ‘pom-pom princess’ weave her magic for your own project, you can email her here.

So until next year, remember to keep up-to-date with Campaign for Wool and their efforts, and continue to invest in the survival of the wool industry.

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Knit a Square at Sloane Square!

Made in Chelsea

To celebrate and join in on Campaign for Wool‘s international mission of raising the awareness of wool in fashion and interiors, we’ve been feverishly promoting Wool Week with a ‘Knit-a-thon’, held at our Symons Street shop in Sloane Square, Chelsea!

Shelter charity for homeless Chelsea shopping

Along with members of the public, our shop staff and head office designers have been knitting squares everyday in the effort of producing a colourfully vivid patchwork blanket that will be auctioned over Twitter, where the the money raised will be donated to the Shelter charity for the homeless.

Brora cashmere patchwork blanket

Friday 10th October is the last day to come in and do your bit by contributing a knitted square for this remarkable blanket. Click here for information on how to get to our Chelsea shop, who the manager is and the shop contact details, so you’ll have no excuse – come and join the campaign and #choosewool.

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Get your Woollies on for Wool Week!

Campaign for Wool

Forget Halloween, here at Brora October means Wool Week! Campaign for Wool are a body of industry leaders convened by HRH The Prince of Wales to raise awareness of the many natural qualities of wool, encourage consumers to buy more wool and inspire designers and retailers to create and sell more wool rich products, hopeful that the end result will have a positive effect on the global wool industry.

Prince Charles, Wool School Campaign for Wool, Prince's Trust

Last year we were a chosen to be a part of CfW’s Wool School; a wonderful collaboration of young, emerging students from universities across the U.K with impactful, British brands. Victoria was allocated Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, from which she chose 17 year old Lindsay McQuarrie for her the freshness and originality within her designs, which we felt sat perfectly within our aesthetic of texture, colour and innovative design.

the wool ride

We’ve been taking part for years, and this time we’re championing not one, but THREE pieces! Dedicated to integrating a plethora of woollens into our inherently British aesthetic as a way of celebrating the natural benefits of the wool fibre, we’ve over fifty pieces in this season’s collection for you to choose from.

London Bridge St. Margret's Station, Hertfordshire
wool week wool week jumper

The Wool Ride on Instagram.

On Sunday, Victoria, her husband (Johnnie) and the knitwear design girls, all took part in CfW’s highly anticipated Wool Ride; a ‘bicycle safari’ through central London, following the route of all the participating retailer’s shop locations.

campaign for wool week

“If you love wool, if you love the environment, if you believe in a better world where natural fibres are chosen every time over synthetic ones, if you love fashion, decorating, wonderful carpets – and you want to support the world’s sheep farmers…I urge you to join the ride, join the Campaign”

-Nicholas Coleridge, Chairman, The Campaign for Wool

hand-knitted wristwarmers

Needles at the ready! Emma, our resident knitter from design, who’ll also be one of those in our Sloane Square shop knitting the charity blanket.

To follow on from this, we’re holding a ‘Knit-a-thon’ in our Sloane Square shop to celebrate Campaign for Wool’s Wool Week event from Sunday 5th to Friday 10th October. We’re inviting all to come and knit a square that will form a unique hand-knitted blanket to be assembled at the end of the week and auctioned for the Shelter charity.

Blanket Bidders!

Take part in our ‘Digi-auction’; a live auction held digitally over Twitter! Much more exciting than Ebay, we think – this way you’ll communicate directly with us for a rapid response.

Shetler charity

Just like a regular auction, there are no limits to how many times you can bid. However, to avoid duplicate bids of the same value, please wait for us to re-tweet the latest bid onto our feed for an accurate, up-to-the-minute account.

‘Natural Selection’ shoot with Wonderland Magazine

In the mean time, Wonderland magazine in partnership with the CfW and The Woolmark Company features the latest wool looks from high street retail brands, something we were thrilled to be asked to be a part of.

The Woolmark Company for Campaign for Wool

Shetland Fair Isle Jumper and Fine Check Tweed Skirt.

The Woolmark Company for Campaign for Wool

Shetland Fair Isle Yoke Cardigan.

Shot in a luxurious and contemporary styling and mood, take a look at the video from the magazine shoot.

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We’re Heading to New York, New York!

New York Fashion Week

Photo credit, @victoriapilkington67

We’re thrilled and overjoyed to be announcing our hop, skip and a jump across the pond to America’s fashion capital, New York – fabulous Madison Avenue to be specific! This bustling city of fine art, culture and fashion is now home to our very first Brora shop in the United States, ready and open for business from early November.

Yellow taxi

Photo credit, @victoriapilkington67

For two years Victoria and her heads of retail have taken numerous trips back and forth, searching for the perfect location that has the necessary surroundings, yet more importantly, missing Brora’s distinctively luxurious, British presence! Central Park is only a few blocks away, the Guggenheim is a stone’s throw from us and upscale Sarabeth’s; a trendy restaurant that’s a small slice of home, serving homemade jams and savoury goods, ideal for a quick, light brunch.

Trendy New Yorker

“Only on Madison Avenue”: Photo credit, @victoriapilkington67

New York winters are a regular mix of harsh, cutting ice and snow with plummeting, sub-zero temperatures and mini hurricane winds! All integral components for our sumptuously snug cashmere knitwear and accessories; wouldn’t you agree?

Guggenheim Museum

Under construction, ready for early November.

Visit the blog regularly for more updates on our ‘Madison Avenue takeover’, and if you or anyone you know would be interested in a position within our New York shop, please click here for more information on applications. We’d be delighted to have you.

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