when we first began to add clothing into the scarpa mix, it followed a logistical requirement. for lack of a dressing room, you had to be able to slip on pieces at the register. unsurprisingly, sweaters dominated this category. though our offerings (and dressing rooms) have since expanded, knitwear has remained a favorite. we’re always excited to see what’s new in the woolen realm, and in the case of uk-based &Daughter, whom we welcome to our shelves this fall, what’s old is, in fact, new.
in 2013, buffy reid founded &Daughter with her father, a veteran of the textile industry, with the intent to create updated versions of classic sweaters. it's sort of like this: imagine if you borrowed a beautiful vintage aran cardigan or fair isle knit from your father or grandfather and as you slipped it on, it somehow felt totally modern and fresh, mainly because it actually fit the way you wanted it to fit. now imagine craftspeople (who, as buffy describes, "have knitwear in their blood") in Scotland and Ireland using time-honored techniques to fashion this sweater. behold, the creations from &daughter. buffy was gracious enough to answer some questions about heritage, the surprises of starting her own line, and how she spends her days off.
it’s been nearly two years since you launched the first &Daughter collection. what have been the most unexpected moments in the journey thus far?
one of the most surprising things has been our customers. it was one thing I didn’t expect when we launched, especially as we were only online in the beginning so we weren’t meeting people face to face but ever since the first collection we’ve received the most amazing emails and letters from our customers thanking us for their orders and telling us their stories. i’m so grateful that someone would take the time to write to us and it’s always so interesting to hear where they come from and how they feel about the piece they’ve bought - it’s definitely the best and most unexpected thing.
heritage seems to be integral to &Daughter – both in the sense that you work with your dad and that your pieces are in conversation with the past. could you speak a bit about what heritage means to you and your work?
the word ‘heritage’ can be tricky as it’s often used as shorthand for something nostalgic or traditional. for &Daughter heritage is about quality - the unique skill and knowledge which comes from generations of craftsmanship, the timelessness of something made in the best way, from the best raw materials. that said, there is something innately romantic about knitwear that comes from it’s age and history. my dad always says there’s nothing that can be knit that hasn’t been knit before and so the interesting part becomes how those things are reinterpreted in ways that feel modern and relevant today.
the &Daughter woman is _________________.
how do you spend your days off?
a good book, a long walk, an afternoon movie and a strong Margherita (or two).
i love that initial phrase on the “about” section of your site, “a belief in provenance.” where would you locate the provenance of &Daughter?
the provenance of &Daughter comes from growing up in an Irish family of knitters with a Granny who knit without ever following a pattern, but created the most amazing things. from my Dad who worked in knitwear his whole career and taught me before I knew he really had, the beauty of an expert stitch, the hand-feel of a good yarn, and the difference between something made badly and made well. from moving to London and going to St Martins and learning how to look at things and now from being lucky enough to work with some of the oldest factories in Scotland and Ireland with craftspeople who have knitwear in their blood.
what’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
she who dares, wins. (a catchphrase of the character delboy from british sitcom only fools and horses)