‘”We spent rather a lot of time hanging around in Itsu moaning about not being able to find the perfect everyday, navy cashmere sweater” Susanna Adam-Bassoe tells me when I ask about the name of her recently launched knitwear company. Together with creative director Belinda Bruh, the idea to launch Edamame London arose over a steaming bowl of Japanese beans in Chelsea. (Just as well the women weren’t having a dirty burger in Shoreditch…)
Having spent nearly 20 years working as a lawyer in the city, Adam-Bassoe met Bruh, a London College of Fashion design graduate with a background in retail, when she embarked on a spot of decluttering. “I was her client. I have always loved clothes, but if you like beautiful things it’s hard to let go. Belinda was drafted in to help me out with my wardrobe.” After talking extensively, the partners launched Edamame London at the end of last year.
I’m also always on a mission to find the perfect navy cashmere sweater, and this new label caught my eye on a recent trip to The Shop at Bluebird. The collection of chic, modern pieces with a timeless, go-anywhere appeal ranges from core navy staples such as the Susanna Ultramare (£380, pictured) to pieces in other colours, such as the heavy-gauge asymmetric Charlotte sweater (£597) in grade-A oatmeal cashmere yarn woven by Todd & Duncan (one of the world’s leading spinners, manufacturing on the banks of Loch Leven in Scotland), and the lightweight red Milly Cardinal knit (£380) made from superfine 30-gauge cashmere in the UK.
Undeterred by an initially cool reaction from the traditional Scottish cashmere mills the pair headed up to Hawick and managed to win over the doubters. Now the plan is to grow the brand organically and to create a trans-seasonal range with new designs launched every two months. “We don’t see ourselves as a fashion brand but we’re not all classics. It’s a fine line,” continues Adam-Bassoe. “We wanted to produce those ‘pulling together’ pieces to fill the gap. We wanted the right quality and provenance, at the right price.”
Almost a year since the lightbulb moment, have the duo finally found the perfect navy cashmere sweater? “It’s up to our customers to decide if it ticks all the right boxes, but we think so,” says Adam-Bassoe. “I wear mine all the time!”