Inspiring, enthusiastic, a walking advertisement for the ‘got a great idea? Just do it’ philosophy? That would be Marielle Wyse, the founder of Wyse London cashmere . “I’ve always loved cashmere jumpers,” she explains, “but never could find what I liked at the price I liked. So I thought I would do it myself.” The result is an impeccably curated collection of 100% desirable knitwear with clever touches: sequin elbow patches, lurex thread detail, rainbow stripes… Warning: it’s almost impossible to resist.
Tell us about Wyse London….
My career has spanned from working in the fashion department of Elle magazine to being a natural history documentary maker at the BBC. So, I’ve done many things, but I’ve always loved clothes and known what I like.
Coming from a half French background (my mother is French), I believe in looking good, and dressing according to what suits you and not necessarily to what fashion dictates. I was helping a dear friend Sally who runs her business Somerville Scarves and she kept saying to me, ‘Do you own thing Marielle, you’ve got great ideas…’ So I did!
I’ve always loved cashmere jumpers, but never could find what I liked at the price I liked: it was either too expensive and fussy, or too high fashion, or just plain and boring. So I thought I would do it myself!
Juliet with metallic star, £165
Why should Wyse be our cashmere go-to?
One comment I often get is that they are so easy to wear. The shapes are just right and suit most body types: either slouchy and slightly sweatshirt style or a neat breton fit. I don’t go for safe plain looks; everything I design has a detail: lurex threading, a metallic elbow patch, a sequin elbow patch or a rainbow stripe. It’s a nod to fashion and something that makes you feel good about yourself. Never ever being a slave to fashion – it’s just not me.
I feel women want to look good and be lifted by what they are wearing, but they want it to be age appropriate and comfortable. Also the price is brilliant for the quality, so people feel comfortable buying more than one. In fact one woman bought 11 from me!
Plus did I mention they go in the machine?! Wool wash, in a laundry bag and a squeeze of baby shampoo: so eay!!
Do you have a favourite item from the collection?
I love anything a bit metallic, so I guess the number one for me is the lurex threaded sweatshirt; the gold thread ones in particular, as I love to wear gold jewellery. The grey/gold one is one of my bestsellers: often people say the lurex thread is like wearing a bit of jewellery, as it’s close to the face. I’m also a big fan of the rainbow Breton, it reminds me of something I used to own and livens up any boring pair of jeans. And in the evening nothing beats a sequin slouchy: easy to wear, a touch of glamour and it makes you feel good.
Ines rainbow Breton, £160
And, what’s next for Wyse London?
Constantly new designs, so lighter colours for the summer, plus some really cool ‘festival jumpers’ in wide pastel stripes, or bolder ones – like a long jumper you can wear with wellies! I have some children’s versions coming in (by popular demand) and I’m also going into t shirts – in particular cotton slub ones, with also some lurex threading (my favourite). Much more to followHopefully, by next autumn I’ll have a menswear range, too! Oh, and I’m planning to do homeware, like gorgeous cashmere throws…
What’s your go-to uniform?
Skinny jeans with gold trainers, a white t shirt and an oversized grey/lurex threaded sweatshirt, or boyfriend jeans with a tight rainbow Breton. My wardrobe essentials are jeans – flared, skinny or boyfriend; black trousers; white tees; gold trainers or pointed high heel boots.
And where do you shop?
Jeans from Zara, cargo pants from Zara – in fact lots of Zara trousers. So easy and inexpensive. Ba&sh for shirts and tops and jackets. Maje/Sandro for trousers and shoes. Monoprix for basics like t shirts, socks etc. It’s fabulous. Goat for dresses. Zadig and Voltaire when feeling wealthy and Topshop for the odd thing – when feeling up to it!!
And obviously a cashmere jumper every (and I mean every) day.
Mid-rise jeans, £29.99, Zara; ba&sh blouse, £142, Yoox; Baylee dress, £260, Goat; Fleur three strap flats, £26.00, Topshop
What makes you feel instantly dressed up?
Two things: dresses or heels. Add to that a touch of lurex, or a sequin elbow pad from Wyse London Cashmere and you’re off!
How would you style one of your jumpers for day/night?
The grey/gold lurex I would wear with jeans and gold trainers in the day (always layered over a white t shirt). In the evening, put a light silk shirt under the jumper, and pop on some great heels…job done!
Maddy lurex sweatshirt, £160; gold slip-on Vans, £55, Asos
Shoes or bags?
Both – obviously! I love Jérôme Dreyfuss bags (Isabel Marant’s husband): I have some really lovely cross body bags of his. And I love Ash shoes.
I’m probably a flats girl – as a lot of my job involes moving good around, so whatever I wear has to be practical: 8 times out of 10 I am in trainers. I love Ash’s slip-on trainer (gold metallic obviously).In the summer I love a wedge heel and have a fab pair that I wore to death (they were neon multi-coloured from Castaner). I loved them so much I bought 2 pairs!
I have lots of bags, but if I’m honest, I’m faithful to a couple – really out of laziness than anything else. If I change too often I never had what I need because I’ve left it in the other bag. My favourites are by Jerome Dreyfuss, Anya Hindmarch and Celine, plus a cute Topshop shopper, as well as a lovely boho Star Mela bag.
Jérôme Dreyfuss Nestor bag, £510, Net-a-Porter; Virgo trainers, £119, Ash
What do you have your eye on for SS16?
The festival sweater is fab and could look great in the muddy fields. I will keep wearing the sweatshirts, but will team with heels. I’m quite into loungewear right now and love the cashmere joggers in navy with a white stripe. They can easily be dressed up with heels, but I prefer my Ugg slippers (a dangerous combination!)
The last three things you bought?
A beautiful throw from The White Company to protect my sofa from my mucky teenage kids
Sally boyfriend jeans by BA&SH to wear with my tight jumpers.
Golden Goose trainers
Finley throw, £140. The White Company
What are your beauty essentials?
2 for 1 wipes from Primark – although this caused such a gasp when I told them this in Space NK that I had stop. I have moved on to Bioderma make up remover and when I’m lucky, moisturiser. I am so lazy when it comes to looking after my skin. I do love though the 24 hour sleep tan mask by James Reed and have treated myself to a contouring kit by Hourglass. Beautifulm but I make it up as I go along!
And what about shopping for your home?
A mixture of modern and vintage – as long as it’s cosy and light, characterful and soothing. I buy from car boot sales, vintage markets, as well as places like sofa.com and The White Company. I’ve picked things up on my travels over the years.. I like people to feel at ease in our environment so I don’t want to make anything seem too precious; when people ask if they must take their shoes off when they come in, and I always reply, ‘Definitely not, life is too short!’
Shop the Wyse London collection here. Follow them on Instagram @wyselondon and Twitter @wyse_london
Main image by Life of Yablon