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Bringing knitwear to life through images

  • 20 May 2014

As everyone thinks about the Summer and is beginning to enjoy this lovely weather, last week I went to recce a location for our next spring summer’s collection, yes spring summer 2015!!  With every new collection, we do a lifestyle photo shoot which helps bring our knitwear to life.  The photo shoots  have been one of my favourite projects on the Needle journey this far (we have done three location photo shoots and we are just planning the fourth.)  Mostly because I get to spend 2 or 3 days on location with a great group of people, and it’s a nice change to be working in a team for a change.  We have partnered with the lovely Sean Knott as our photographer whom we met back in October 2012 and he has produced all of our beautiful images…

Sean took on the challenge of giving our knitwear a story that would excite you.  It is no easy challenge and our initial brief was along the lines of:

Please can you create:

  • Awesome eye-catching images
  • Using cool models
  • Nothing to twee
  • Whilst at the same time, the most important part was to keep the knitwear the focus…

Not the easiest of tasks and ultimately it meant understanding what Ems and I envisaged without any images at all!!  Sean took all of this on board and voila we have awesome images and the knitwear suddenly came to life!

As glamorous as it sounds ‘doing a photo shoot’ there is a lot of work that goes into a photo shoot..  Creating the product range, making sure the colour palette works and then the minor issue that the samples arrive on time, selecting models – basically a bit like X- Factor selection process, hair and make up, styling, location… decisions all based on a bit of imagination!!

So far we have shot at Langsett reservoir in South Yorkshire where we had to wait 3 hours for the snow to stop falling before we could start anything, Sawley Estate in North Yorkshire – where Sean donned the too small wadders to get one shot!!  Wells-next-the-sea in Norfolk – a beautiful golden sandy beach but the sea fret stopped us  from getting onto the beach  on the first day until 4pm!! Typically everyone else in the country was enjoying the sunshine!! Our latest winter shoot was at an amazing location house in Greenwich right next to the Thames.

Last week we returned to Norfolk  to checkout the location for our SS15 photo shoot… essentially a Shack in the middle of nowhere by the sea..  Very cool but very surreal. We could have been in America!

Then there are the models, an easy task you think to pick people who will represent your brand….at this point I must say, do not underestimate the skill of a good model. I definitely did!  And so we have had the pleasure of working with 8 amazing, talented models who are all beautiful.  Karin has flown in from Italy twice with her baby boy and husband in tow, Maddie, Alice, Sophie, Nikki, Rachel, Josephine and Ewelina.  Each bringing something new and interesting to the table and making our knitwear more exciting and dynamic

And so in mid June we pack our bags, I fill my car with cake and head off for a few days adventure in the Shack!!

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Two years ago I launched a knitwear brand…

  • 2 May 2014

We had no name, no identity and just an idea…. a women’s online knitwear brand

Everyone has a story; how they got to where they are or why they do what they do is a story.  Me… Well, I am 27 and left my full time job in London selling people lovely Africa holidays two years ago.  I left my London life and moved back home to Yorkshire.  It was by no means a hardship, my family are amazing and when I moved home my sister was pregnant with her second baby. It has meant that I have been around for all the big occasions in both my nieces’ lives; Annabelle’s first sports day (my sister and I won the three legged race, and are in training to win again this year!) and seeing Sophia learn to walk.  I have also had limitless support from loving people.

And so this blog is just about how I got a business out of the starting blocks.  It is very much a work in progress (both the blog and the business).  And I will admit that I have made several mistakes along the way but I am learning.  Me as an individual, I would say I am pretty normal, well in a sense of the word. I love my family, my boyfriend, long brunches, coffee, baking (especially brownies), cooking in general, friends, chocolate and clothes (I am slightly OCD about my wardrobe)

I have a partner in crime, Emma, who is the creative mind behind Needle. Ems translates the ideas in my head into real life pieces of knitwear.  Not an easy task. Em’s favourite things are Arlo (her baby boy – he is super cute, beautiful big eyes, watch out girls), chocolate, family, friends, sunshine, the sea or water in any form, laughing, cashmere jumpers, sleep (she wrote this when Arlo was 4 months old, sleep deprivation!) and photos.  Emma hates to be in front of the camera herself, so trying to capture her on camera is near impossible! Hence the below side profile images….

We come as a double act, having met whilst working together at LK Bennett after Ems arrived from Burberry.  I was the knitwear product developer and Ems was the knitwear designer. We hit it off almost from day one, both a little weary of each other but very quickly we got over that and I looked forward to the 3 days during the week when we worked together. I knew that involving Ems in the business (actually I wouldn’t have done it without her) we would be able to create beautiful collections of knitwear that people would love! I still don’t know how she does it, her energy, her inspiration. It amazes me that you can create something different season on season and I am always so excited each time we start a new collection to see what new ideas Ems has come up with.

And so two years ago last weekend I packed up my flat in London and moved home to Yorkshire. The idea was….. To create a fun, wearable online knitwear brand,  the price point was to be higher than mainstream, high street shops, but equally not super expensive. My ambition was to be a Made in Britain brand, use fine natural wools / yarns and be as commercial as possible whilst hoping that people would fall in love with our knitwear and feel good in it.. Ambitious yes!!!

Well we are a made in Italy brand!!! Some thing’s just don’t work however hard you try….. we did do several epic journeys to Hawick, in the borders of Scotland. On our first trip, Emma turned to me and said ‘Lizzie, was there an apocalypse, where is everyone?’ It was a vast stretch of road and I think we saw one car, and then lots of rolling hills, forests but no human life! We tried, but things just wouldn’t come together.

So we work with a lovely factory in Italy, an hour south of Florence, they are a family run factory than also manufacture for several high end global brands. They make beautiful clothes and for the most part we are very happy with them. Yes like all partnerships the odd parcel arrive without much heads up and we miss communicate but overall we have a great relationship. I keep my fingers crossed that we maintain a good relationship, mostly because I will use any excuse to spend time in Florence! It is a gorgeous city where you can lose yourself.

 

And so two years down the line we have a name, an identity and a knitwear brand…. Needle

Love Lizzie x

 

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  • 2 May 2014

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