Saturday, 15 February 2014

Interview with Needle Knitwear founder Lizzie Cawthray

My latest Q&A is with Lizzie Cawthray who is founder and managing director of a luxury knitwear label called Needle. After starting her career at LK Bennett, Lizzie'decided to start her own label. The debut collection of wearable, contemporary knitwear launched in autumn last year. She's achieved so much already, and well before she's 30 years old which is no mean feat.

Lizzie Cawthray
Tell us a bit about yourself?
Lizzie: I'm a 27-year-old girl based in Yorkshire, but my work means I get to spend lots of time in London with my best friends. I love what I do and feel so grateful that I've been able to do what I wanted to do. All my spare time is spent with friends and family; they are a sounding board for all my bright ideas!

Why did you start your label?
Lizzie: I started Needle because I wanted to create a range of knitwear that was fun and wearable but that was luxurious and good quality too. I didn't want to be restricted by other people's influence so I set out to build something that I totally adore and am incredibly passionate about.

What inspires you? 
Lizzie: I'm completely inspired by beautiful things. I've loved the roller-coaster ride of creating the brand, but mostly I love seeing a design coming alive, from the initial sketches to the prototypes, to seeing people wearing them and falling in love. I believe anyone who has a Needle piece should be completely in love with it.

If you had to just wear one fashion designer's clothes for life who would it be?
Lizzie: Tricky question... I'm probably too mainstream with my clothes but I couldn't live without good handbags so it would have to be Anya Hindmarch.

What are your top 3 high street stores and why?  
Lizzie: Zara because you can get some amazing basics and I love their jeans; Cos, it's often quite simple but still stylish; and Whistles as there's often a pop of colour or something a bit interesting.

What has been your greatest ever bargain? 
My Paul & Joe Sister Mustard Cocoon coat that I bought from ALC in Edinburgh last year. I adore it and always feel amazing in it.

Autumn/Winter Needle Collection

And what has been your biggest ever splurge? 
Lizzie: Probably a handbag. I'm a complete sucker for a nice handbag.

What is your beauty routine? 
Lizzie: I keep it relatively simple with cleanser and toner morning and evening (I use Simple products). My sister bought me some lovely Temple Spa products for Christmas and I love their Be Strong face serum – it's brilliant.

Which celebrity would you love to dress and why? 
Lizzie: I've personally always loved Jessica Alba's style; she can do chic really well but also casual. That's exactly what Needle is trying to achieve, complementing both sides.

Which celebrity do you think has the best style? 
Lizzie: Diane Kruger. She is gorgeous and always so stylish.

What is your favourite trend of the moment?  
It's all about leather at the moment and I am quite fan I have to say!

How do you turn around a bad hair day? 
Lizzie: My hair is like a lion's mane, so I tend to pin it all up and go quite '20s with it to override bad hair days!

What would you wear on a first date? 
Lizzie: Having been on a first date only two months ago I went for leather front leggings with black wedge boots, a cream silk shirt, my Needle Milan jacket and the cream Needle Shawl. It seems to have worked pretty well; he's now my boyfriend!

Check out the latest Needle designs here.
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