Q&A with Buffy Reid, founder of &Daughter
We've all been unashamedly looking forward to the end of this uncharacteristically hot weather and it's all down to one woman, Buffy Reid, the knitwear entreprenuer behind &Daughter. Guernsey knits, ribbed sweaters and chunky cardigans are just about the only things on our mind right now so we were super excited to talk knitwear inspiration, working with her dad and how she acquired the name Buffy.
What was the original inspiration behind &Daughter?
&Daughter was originally inspired by a hand knit Aran I found one Christmas that my Grandmother had made. I was working in fashion in London at the time and my friends and I all lived in knitwear but found it hard to find the type of pieces we wanted to wear- a simple crew neck in a perfect shade of navy or a chunky cable knit but in a modern shape.
My Dad had worked in knitwear his whole career and growing up we were surrounded by boxes of amazing things and that somehow felt missing from what I could find and it felt relevant.
Describe your typical working day?
Coffee about 6ish, emails and customer orders start the day. We dispatch from our studio (which is in my house) so we pack each order that comes in and then a courier comes to collect later that day. After that I usually spend the morning working on the new collection that's in development. At the moment that's AW15, so it's mood boards and sketch reviews, Skyping with the factories to catch up and feed back on prototypes coming through as well as checking on progress for the forthcoming Spring season.
The afternoon is usually lots of meetings: appointments with press or our web and production teams to discuss the site design or any upcoming campaign shoots. Then, if there’s still time left in the evening, hopefully a
glass of wine and dinner with friends.
What do you like most about what you do?
&Daughter wouldn’t be possible without the amazing skill and knowledge of the craftspeople we work with, working with them and learning from them is incredible.
How has it been going into business with your father?
It's allowed us to get to know each other and it's a lot of fun which is probably a bit of a surprise. Of course we disagree sometimes but when I go home to Donegal we visit the factories together which are in amazing parts of the countryside where my Dad grew up, it's beautiful and I feel really lucky to be able to do that with him.
Who would you most like to see wearing an &Daughter design?
I most enjoy seeing how our customers wear it. Everyone I see in &Daughter wears it slightly differently and gives it their own take, that’s exactly our intention and it's exciting to see.
Who or what inspires you?
Miuccia Prada and Phoebe Philo: two strong, intelligent women creating clothes for strong, intelligent women. They have changed the way we get dressed.
Which jumper will you mostly be wearing this winter, and how will you be wearing it?
We design &Daughter to work as a wardrobe of knitwear pieces so I tend to wear different styles for different days. I've been wearing our stripe collar t-shirt a lot at the moment as it's a great transitional piece while the weather is still warm and then I layer our boyfriend cardigan over instead of a jacket.
As it gets colder I have a feeling I’m going to be always in our rib collar tunic knit in navy - it’s incredibly versatile, for meetings in the week I’ll wear it with an A-line skirt and a chunky loafer and at weekends with some skinny jeans and flats.
What has been your proudest &Daughter moment
A customer wrote us a thank-you letter recently to say she’d lived all winter in the two pieces she’d bought from &Daughter. It was such a kind and unexpected gesture.
What would you like to do in the future?
We are taking things intentionally slowly, we want to focus on doing one
thing but doing it brilliantly well.
And finally, can we be cheeky and ask where the name Buffy came from?
Of course. My older brother couldn't say Elizabeth (my real name) when I
was born so he used to call me Buff and so for as long as I can remember I thought that was my name. It gets a little sillier as you get older but it's too late now!