Minnie Rose knitwear, fashion's answer to June gloom
The knitwear lifestyle line's signature ruffled featherweight cashmere dusters, crocheted shawls and fringed cotton ponchos are what you want to reach for on those inexplicably cold summer mornings by the beach. Which is probably why Kate Middleton (that was an olive green, ruffled cashmere Minnie Rose shawl she was wearing in that famous photo taken with the grocery cart at Waitrose), Cameron Diaz, Lindsay Lohan and a host of other celebs are taking notice of the fledgling brand, founded in 2006 by Lisa Shaller-Goldberg.
Named after Shaller-Goldberg's grandmothers, Minnie Rose is based in New York City's fashion district. But the designer does know a thing or two about Southern California style, having worked as the sales and marketing representative for such iconic 1990s L.A. labels as Juicy Couture, Earl Jean, True Religion and Hard Candy.
"When I came to L.A. back then for Juicy, I had never heard of June gloom," the designer said during a recent trip to Southern California to show her line at a trade show. "I went to Fred Segal to get a sweater, and the only one in the store was $1,000. That launched Minnie Rose in my mind."
In six years, the business has grown from three simple cashmere pieces to include a range of fashionable knitwear in dozens of new colors each season, such as hazelnut, hibiscus, mango, merlot and brown sugar. For fall, she's offering color-blocked Rowana shawls, hooded and fur-trimmed Rowana shawls, Southwestern-style ponchos, boyfriend cardigans trimmed in fringe, sequin-dusted cashmere tank tops and dresses, Shaker knit legwarmers and cotton leggings. Everything is designed to be layered, and many items are one-size-fits-all.
"This is for a woman who grew up wearing Juicy. But now, maybe she has kids of her own. She wants to look comfortable, pretty and elegant," said Shaller-Goldberg, adding that knitwear is the logical extension of the SoCal lifestyle brands she helped to build in her first career in the 1990s. "What goes with jeans besides T-shirts? Knitwear, it's the next step."
Minnie Rose, $70 to $900, sells at Saks, Neiman Marcus, Intermix, Madison and other upscale boutiques, and online at MinnieRose.com. And if you happen to be in the Hamptons this summer, the brand is launching a pop-up boutique at the Montauk Beach House on June 23.
-- Booth Moore
Upper photos: Minnie Rose classic pieces. Credit: Scott Goldberg
Lower photos: Minnie Rose spring 2012 collection. Credit: Scott Goldberg