Shop Talk with Cavells
Proving that inspirational style and beautifully crafted clothing do exist outside the Big Smoke, Cavells boutique is well worth a visit should you be passing through Oakham, Rutland, and be in need of a Chinti cashmere fix. Founded in 1993, it's an established name on the British fashion map, and Chinti and Parker are lucky enough to have been included in their esteemed edit since 2011. We caught up with Tiffany Ross, their buyer.
What store are you from?
Cavells, an independent boutique in Oakham, a pretty market town in Rutland, the smallest county in England.
How do you determine what pieces you’re going buy each season?
We are fortunate to have many very loyal customers who we get to know well. I often have a customer in mind when I see a collection, based on styles I know my customer will definitely want to buy and enjoy wearing. I am always armed with my trusty sell-through report and analytical sales reports which help to a degree, but I also need to have a good ‘gut’ feeling about a collection and it's always nice to get the ‘wow’ factor. I have good relationships with most of our suppliers, and this is important in that they know their collection and Cavells well enough to help advise on what should be strong for us.
What pieces are you investing in for autumn/winter 2013?
Apart from Chinti and Parker, which I will talk about in the next question – silk shirts from Equipment, Hudson jeans, a couple of Tucker dresses, an Anya Hindmarch handbag and Penelope Chilvers boots. We have just received delivery of a new coat brand called Mabrun, and I will definitely be tempted with one of these.
Which Chinti and Parker styles are you most excited about for the new season and how will you be wearing them?
I love the shirt hem striped sweater in grey and royal blue and the pocket sweater in navy with a grey pocket. I am also still living in my slouchy boatneck navy and watermelon striped Chinti bought earlier this summer. I will be wearing them with pretty much everything!
Who’s your ultimate style icon?
I’m not sure she would consider herself a ‘style icon’ but I like the effortless style of Kirsty Allsopp. Whether she is painting a chair from a junk shop or walking around Chelsea Flower Show she always looks great.
Which is the bigger influence to you personally, street style or catwalk?
It would have to be street style. The catwalk can seem so far removed from what we are selling in Cavells. Although our customer is interested in fashion and wants to look good, we are still a market town in a rural pocket of England and the catwalk in Milan is another world.
What is the oldest piece of clothing that you own and wear?
Clothing is a bit tricky in this industry, when I have so much temptation to buy new at the beginning of a season. But I do still love my very old Mulberry Bayswater bag in oak and also my grandma’s wedding ring.
What will you be wearing in ten years time?
A Chinti jumper, of course! Worn with Marilyn Moore print silk dresses.