Gathering a steady and loyal following for its line of exclusive knitwear for the past three years, cashmere brand, Elle & Riley, is celebrating the opening of its third retail store in Queenstown. Created by mother and daughter team, Yolande Ellis and Elle Pugh, the brand’s retail spaces are a reflection of their love of timeless lifestyle pieces from knitwear to homewares and accessories. QT Magazine spoke to Elle Pugh about the new Queenstown venture.
What has been the response to the new store?
- It’s been incredible both from a local and international perspective. Many of our customers from around the country who frequent Queenstown are excited to see our product firsthand.
What products are appealing to customers?
- We’ve recently branched out into some animal print pieces as well as a gorgeous cashmere and possum blend items that we make here in New Zealand which have been well received. Our classic neutral pieces are still the core of our business.
How did the original concept for Elle + Riley evolve?
- My mother, Yolande, went on a trip to Nepal a few years ago and bought a lot of cashmere home. Wondering why we didn’t have much access to this product here in New Zealand got her thinking, and the idea slowly evolved. We saw a demand very quickly and grew the business with it.
How would you describe the Elle + Riley style?
- Cashmere is a timeless product, but you can wear it so many ways. We try and keep our designs modern and minimal, adding a few fun pieces here and there for the customer who wants to branch out
What should we know about wearing cashmere?
- Cashmere is lighter, softer and warmer than merino which is why many favour it. It also doesn’t contain lanolin, which many people are allergic to so it’s a great alternative. We have always been lovers of luxury products, and cashmere encapsulates everything luxury. You put it on and instantly feel glamorous and special.
Who designed the interior of the new store in Queenstown?
- Katie Lockhart designed the store and did an incredible job. She focused on the heritage element of cashmere, using natural products that allow the cashmere to speak for itself.
What’s currently in store?
We aim to have new product arriving every four to six weeks. We have a lot of our travel essentials arriving –matching tops and bottoms which are incredible for wearing on a plane. They have a following from both our local and international customers who spend a lot of time flying and want to be comfortable in the ever-changing air temperature.
What are you personally choosing from the collection for spring?
- I’m loving my leopard print t-shirt already, paired with cream jeans and a blazer, and am lusting over our nutmeg coloured tracksuit which is arriving in time for spring.