Recognising that easy elegance is style nirvana for most women, fashion executive Kim Winser set about creating a collection of chic mix-and-match basics made from the world’s finest materials. Winser London is her new online luxury brand; it launches on Friday February 15 and includes hand-combed cashmere sweaters (first picture, £175), Pima cotton jersey T-shirts (£35), luxurious silk shirts (from £120) and tailored cardigan-cum-jackets (Milano Stitch DB jacket in second picture, £150). “The idea is to buy a few items from the collection; all the clothes and the basic colours – black, white, natural, midnight – work together and feel amazing, whether for business, travel or leisure. You can pack a small number and have enough outfits for a few days.” Winser only had to add the words “crease free”, and I was sold.
With an OBE for her contribution to British fashion and an impressive track record – stints as CEO of Pringle of Scotland and global president and CEO of Aquascutum – Winser has a good business head on her shoulders. Her idea is to cut out the middlemen, deal directly with manufacturers and set up quick turnarounds for product lines. She says her collection is “the opposite of the throwaway fashion we’ve had over the past decade – because we’re dealing directly with the best suppliers, we can offer the highest quality.”
I mentioned in my last post my love of casual glamour, my quest to find multitasking items that embrace 24-hour style and my desire to cultivate a go-anywhere look. I’ve seen Winser’s collection and it ticks every box: simply designed, beautifully cut and excellent quality. She is a woman after my own heart. “People sometimes try too hard, and look uncomfortable; or dress too formally, and lose a bit of personality; or are too casual when travelling and become embarrassed to bump into anyone they know,” she laments.
My favourite items are: the collarless silk shirt (£165) – I’d opt for the navy colourway and wear it with jeans and Acne Pistol boots; a pair of black stretch trousers (£75) that have a wonderful anytime, anywhere chicness; and the lightweight summer trench (£250) – throw it on for the commute to work or roll it up and carry it in a bag, as it is the perfect trans-seasonal cover up. There’s a small range of scarves (from £50) and freshwater-pearl necklaces (from £65), too.
As well as being a sharp businesswoman, Winser is friendly and down to earth. When we meet, she is wearing the slinky wide-leg trousers – which she proudly points out are double layered to give a more streamlined silhouette – and a slouchy cashmere sweater. Her colleague has on a tunic jumper and stretch trousers. Two completely different body shapes, both looking effortlessly stylish. I’m utterly won over.