You may have noticed a couple of new features on South Molton St Style, one of them being Sisters with Style - a new interview series with my favourite fashion 'sisters'. I was absolutely delighted when Rachael from Chinti and Parker agreed to take part - the brand are one of my absolute faves for basics with a twist. She and Anna (co-founder) are one of my favourite fashion-business-duos...
Rachael (left) and Anna of Chinti and Parker
How long have you and Anna known each other, and when did you decide to start Chinti and Parker?
We are cousins, but more like sisters, so we’ve always known one another. We decided to work together when we both found ourselves free at the same time, I was previously working at Browns and Anna had a cosmetic brand. Our similar aesthetic and love of basics made us want to start the project.
What was the key inspiration behind creating the brand?
We felt there was a gap in the market for a British based brand that focused on luxe everyday unfussy essentials that are made with care and consideration. I try to bring something fresh to every season but at the core of every collection are timeless pieces that last the test of time.
How does Anna and your personal style influence the brand's style?
Enormously. The collection is all about treasured pieces that really anyone can relate to and style to make your own. I don’t think we could design a collection that we wouldn't want to live in.
What has driven your inspiration for this season's collection?
I would say print and texture have been the main focus. You will see more of our playful side this season with ditsy star prints and oversized polkas. Texture adds depth and a super luxe feel to even the most humble of jumpers. And of course colour palette is always key. I love the warm but punchy fox and bronze we are using this season.
Olivia Palermo and Alexa Chung in Chinti and Parker sweaters
Do you have any favourite pieces from it?
I love our oversized Aran Sweater for it’s generous proportion and texture. The Mix Stripe Sweater is also a favourite. And of course the Star Print Chinos for a playful twist. I think it’s important not to take yourself too seriously.
What has been your best selling piece so far?
That’s a toss-up between our One Pocket sweater and our Star Sweater (seen above)
Who is the 'Chinti and Parker' woman?
She is someone who values a quality piece that will last more than a season. She doesn’t buy into fast fashion but buys treasured pieces. She wears classic but appreciates the quiet fashion forward details. (Olivia Palermo and Alexa Chung are known fans, as seen in the pictures).
If you could have been the brain behind another fashion venture, which would it have been and why?
Stella McCartney has never compromised on her beliefs and I respect that
I think Anna would have to put Marni up there near the top. I’d have to agree. The collection is always rich in texture and palette – and we can certainly relate to that.
Karlie Kloss and Natalie Hartley in Chinti and Parker stripes
Sourcing ethically produced fabrics is clearly very important to you, what challenges did you face when searching for the right products?
Sourcing the right fabrics takes a lot of time and patience. However, it is already a different market out there from when the business started in 2009 with organic, fair trade and sustainable fabrics now more readily available. When I started it was very limiting as mills were not prepared to try something new and unknown but the future is exciting for ethical clothing brands and people’s attitudes towards them.
Have you had any 'pinch me I'm dreaming' moments with the success of the company?
Um everyday! It’s especially exciting when you spot someone wearing the collection. I can’t help but get an urge to “pap” them.
Please do check out the Chinti and Parker website here for a full range, or a carefully selected edit is available through Net A Porter. Anna and Rachael both have a fabulous blog here too, with everything from design snippets to cute puppies who visit the office!
South Molton St Style