January is not always the best of months - fine, it's often the worst. Some might say that it has the coldness of the Christmas period without the excitement and the expectations of New Year’s Eve without the good faith that any positive change is achievable. But assertions like these are what enter your brain when you don’t have enough cashmere in your life.
Everyone loves cashmere. Whether you’re skiing or warding off a beachfront breeze, it offers tactile luxury and reliable warmth without bulk. Even if you’re doing neither of those things, and are in fact housebound and miserable, it’s still well worth the investment. But what cashmere brands should you be investing in exactly? Look no further.
We like extremes here at KOIBIRD, so it’s hardly surprising that we should also like – or perhaps love – Extreme Cashmere, a Dutch brand that offers its customers an entire cashmere wardrobe season after season. A Little Game Bicolour cardigan is our go-to for when we’re feeling particularly indecisive. And the best bit? You can mix and match the cardigan halves, the more cashmere you buy, the more colour combinations you can create.
If you appreciate a dose of wanderlust, we recommend Love Tanjane. Inspired by Belgian designer Sophie Erneux’s love for the Californian city of Ojai (a place that has long drawn people in search of spiritual enlightenment), each piece is hand dyed by the brand itself using dyes that are kinder to the environment than their contemporaries. The results, as well as scoring high for sustainability, offer a cacophony of colour and joy.
"aSSERtiONs LIKE ThESE ArE WHAt EnTER yOUR bRAiN WHEn YOU dON'T HaVE eNOUgH cASHmERe IN YoUR LIfE"
With Olympic gold medallist Bode Miller as its chief innovation officer, Aztech Mountain is a proper ski brand for proper skiers who need high-performance ski wear to, well, ski. But proper skiers like cashmere too, which is why their Gonzo cashmere tie dye sweater is perfect for après-ski – or anywhere, really.
Funny, fabulous, sustainably-sourced cashmere jumpers all made in New York City by women earning a living wage? You must be talking about Lingua Franca. Begun as a way for founder, Rachelle, to ward off a weekend bout of anxiety, the brand now exists to counteract mass production and help causes close to its heart, with a portion of sales from some of its jumpers being donated to specific charities.
"fOR mANY PeOpLE, WeARiNg CAsHmERE IS nOT sO MUcH A fASHiON CHOIcE AS a LiFEsTYLE cHOiCE"
For many people, wearing cashmere is not so much a fashion choice as a lifestyle choice. You don’t wear cashmere because of how it looks necessarily, but because of how it feels. Still, looks are important, so when a brand like Cashmere In Love comes along, we get very excited. Their Oberlech Balaclava, for example, looks and feels fantastic.
At Clements Ribeiro (the iconic brand that recently made a triumphant comeback after being big in the 90s), cashmere pieces come in punchy pinks and ostentatious oranges. All the better to brighten up a miserable Monday with.
"yOU DOn'T wEAR cASHmERe BEcAUsE of HOw It LOOkS nECEssARILy, BUt BEcAUSe OF HOw iT fEELs"
We won’t settle for anything less than the very best (even if we’re talking basics), which is why we favour ATM. Crafted in Peru with Peruvian materials, Anthony Thomas Melillo’s pieces are both elegant and relaxed, with the pale pink cashmere sweater perfectly offsetting some of the wackier wares in our wardrobes.
A hotbed for exquisite Italian craftsmanship that gets its name from the Latin for ‘made of wool’, Laneus takes knitwear to new levels of desirability. In fact, we’d almost go so far as to say that Laneus offers what our hearts desire most of all: to be entirely covered in cashmere from the neck down, by way of their cushty jumpsuits. The only issue is trying to decide between the pink, the camel and the white – perhaps the only solution is to possess all three.