Upscale cashmere, thermals, and knits can sometimes seem stuffy—particularly for young wearers. But innovations in the category are gradually upping its cool factor and overall allure. Most recently, knitwear labels are appealing to consumers’ love of story
and nostalgic sentimentality
, relying on traditional methods of production to produce pieces that invoke a sense of history.
The newly trendy
fisherman’s sweater has a long history at S.N.S. Herning. Founder Soren Nielsen Skyt knitted his first iteration of the style in 1931, in an (ultimately successful) effort to make a woolen sweater that would warm Danish fisherman even in the roughest winter weather. Today, S.N.S. creates updated takes
on the classic, including some subtly feminized styles
for women. The label still relies on old-world methods: items are produced using the original machines in the original factory in Herning, Denmark. Garments are made in limited supply and each is hand-signed by its creator, enhancing further the unique appeal of these individual knits.
Edith A. Miller:
Inspired by an almost century-old line of undershirts called Robert P. Miller, this women’s knitwear brand was conceived after founders Jennifer Murray and Nancy Gibson arrived at a party wearing similar striped Miller tops. The brand was founded by Robert Miller in 1920
, sold to Mohnton Knitting Mills in 1992, and picked up in 2008 by downtown department store Opening Ceremony
—where Murray and Gibson discovered it. Imagining a feminine take on Miller’s military thermal style, the duo devised a vintage-sounding brand name and convinced Mohnton to manufacture their designs
. The resulting garments, produced in the authentic Miller style, are now available at J.Crew
Contemporary designer Holly Fulton recently revisited her origins by tapping Scotland’s oldest operating textile mill, Caerlee
, to handcraft knits for her Spring/Summer 2012
show at London Fashion Week. The team at Caerlee specializes in intarsia
, an artisan knitting technique
used to create tight-fitting, multi-colored patterns that appear inlaid—giving the effect of a printed fabric, rather than individual yarns. Fulton collaborated closely with the technicians there to create a line that approaches ready-to-wear styling from a couture sensibility. In an additional nod to tradition, yarns were supplied by local spinners Todd & Duncan
, making the line a wholly Scottish production from design to execution.