We are delighted to introduce today Emma Jane, founder of EmmaJane Knight, currently available in our store.
Designing beautiful cashmere clothes, she tells us more about her business and home life.
What do you do?
I am a cashmere designer and my new Ultimate Travel Cashmere Capsule Collection recently launched at Grace Belgravia is an exquisitely versatile range of designs, that combined, provide an endlessly stylish wardrobe of over thirty different outfits. Each piece is finely tuned to flatter a woman’s shape, with sophisticated detailing of Italian natural horn buttons, agate, crystals and pearl beading. I am thrilled with the reception it received during London Fashion Week, and that we have been chosen by Beulah London to feature in their London flagship store. A number of online outlets, also now stock our range, so I am very pleased and encouraged at the high level of interest the collection is receiving.
Fine cashmere is a truly wonderful and versatile medium. Nothing can match its ability to enhance a woman’s beauty and it is one of the most practical and multifunctional of fabrics. Our cashmere is composed of only the highest quality finest cashmere, with our spinners meticulously separating only the purest, softest under hair from the cashmere goat’s longer thicker hair. This is what differentiates our products from ‘high street’ cashmere, which is often combined with other fibres and synthetics.
When did you start up your business?
My passion for fashion was formed at a very early age. Although coming from an English family, I was born and brought up in Hong Kong, so as a child was exposed to a vibrant and very international culture. In the 1960s and 1970s Hong Kong stood in a unique geographical and cultural crossroads, so an international style sensitivity and appreciation has been a constant factor in my outlook and designs.
After completing my studies at Edinburgh University, I went into publishing at Condé Nast with magazines such as Vanity Fair, Tatler and the Condé Nast Traveller. My passion for fashion also led me into working for some wonderful brands such as Chanel and De Beers. I also learnt a great deal working with the British Fashion Council award-winning fashion designer Elspeth Gibson, who has dressed some of the most fashionable and famous women in the world, such as Cate Blanchett, Jemima Khan, Uma Thurman and members of the Royal family.
This experience eventually encouraged me to establish my own label and the rest, as they say, is history.
Who is your biggest inspiration and why?
Certainly my father’s elegant eye and passion for music, nature, literature and art had a big influence on my outlook. The different dynamics of Hong Kong and England, integrating the old with the new, the East with the West, has also helped refine a classic yet contemporary design philosophy, which thankfully seems to be very popular!
I see each collection as a refinement on what we have done before, though we continue to innovate in the cut, finish and details. Inspiration can come from anywhere, a painting, a film, a chance encounter with a beautiful objet, all can inspire a particular look, detail, or cut. Our new Travel Collection encapsulates an image of effortless sophistication and a period of luxury travel – distilling this into a small number of versatile and coordinating designs. So design references from the 1930s echo with a modern take on simplicity and elegance. From my sketches the outlines of the collection took shape. These production designs are then further refined, unique details or cashmere weights compared, until we reach the perfect product! It’s only then that we are ready to unveil our clothes to the outside work and they reach the showroom floor.
What is your favourite quote?
The mind is everything. What you think you become. –Buddha
How would you describe your style?
Timeless and elegant with a contemporary twist, wearing outfits that I love and, hopefully, our growing number of customers around the world will continue to love too!
What is your favourite Beulah piece/look?
Currently I’m loving Porcelain, Veil and Cleo – such smart, innovative and strong designs. I always feel confident wearing a Beulah design. The quality, colours and cut are superb.
What is your favourite accessory?
Douji, my beautiful Maltese. She happily creates so much attention wherever we go with her playful spirit and adorable temperament.
What is your favourite thing about/place ?
There is no place like home and especially I love our British humour such as sharing a joke with the cabby on my way back from the airport after visiting manufacturers in Mongolia, or catamaran sailing in the Caribbean, skiing in Zermatt, visiting family in Sydney, a 7 day Indian wedding in Delhi, or sourcing handmade buttons and mink trims from Italy.
What do you like the most about your job?
Transforming a woman’s appearance and seeing her face light up when she puts on my cashmere designs. And meeting so many interesting people and going to so many interesting places whilst enjoying this life journey.