Introducing Chinti and Parker, the antidote to ugly Christmas sweaters
It's a familiar sight. It's big, it's likely green or red or worse, both. If you squint your eyes, you can see the pills forming around the sleeves. From the back, it almost looks inconspicuous, only the alarming festive hue screaming in your direction. The front tells a different story. You can't decide what's more offensive — the collage of pixelated Christmas motifs or the person wearing it, the individual who has the audacity to leave the house in what's culturally known (and accepted this time of year) as the "ugly Christmas sweater".
Apart from pulling a prank, there's almost no good reason to subjugate oneself to one of the most embarrassing of traditions. Not when you have Chinti and Parker, young masters of contemporary knitwear, spreading cheer in good taste. The duo behind the Brit name, cousins Anna Singh and Rachael Wood, have designed for The Outnet.com six exclusive cashmere novelty sweaters for the holidays — snowflakes, candy canes and reindeer abundant, sans ignominy.
See the mini collection, and find out more about the label quietly making their mark — in no less than 180 retailers over 27 countries — from Singh, after the jump.
First thing's first. What's the meaning behind the name Chinti and Parker?
The brand name is a variant of our Indian great-grandparents' first names, 'Chinti' and 'Pakhar'.
How did you and Rachael decide to start a label together?
We always had similar taste in fashion and we both found ourselves available to take on a new project at the same time in 2008. We get along great, and both always loved American luxury staples brands, so we decided to do our own collection, only with more wit, fun details and European flair.
What are you inspired by?
People — everyone from my friends and the amazing women in my network to the girls at the office. Also, we both have many cultural inspirations, including old French films and different elements of English heritage.
Tell me more about the yarns you use in your collections.
We're commitment to pushing boundaries in terms of what has been done historically with cashmere, merino and other yarns in regards to textures, colours, intarsias and blends. Previously cashmere mills worked in a very traditional way which wouldn't have allowed for some of our modern flourishes and details. We use Italian cashmere, merino wool, and have experimented with several different blends containing cashmere and other types of wool and even silk to create different weights and textures.
How did the collaboration with The Outnet.com come about?
We've had a great relationship with the Net-a-Porter Group since pretty much day one, and they are always a natural choice when we want to do something fun and seasonal. The Outnet.com really lends itself well to a Christmas capsule as they are such a key destination during the holidays for our fashion-conscious consumers.
Is recapturing the spirit of youth a design element or a mindset?
More than anything it is a mindset. Especially in luxury cashmere, the choices were so limited before. It is perhaps also a bit of a reaction to the so-called rules of years past in terms of what women were made to feel in terms of dressing a certain way after a certain age. We're sort of saying no. No, we don't have to look matronly. We can be tomboys or casual or playful for as long as we want, especially in this space of great quality.
What has been your favourite memory of Christmas with Rachael?
Yes, every Christmas. It would have to be in our family home in Dorset, opening presents together and comparing who got what new clothes and styling them together.
What is your favourite Christmas tradition now?
Opening presents with our own children, in the same family house.
Chinti and Parker's Christmas sweaters will be available on The Outnet.com early December.