I Love Mr Mittens – Knitwear from Australia with Belgian roots
The Campaign for Wool has been talking to Stéphanie Caulier, Belgian by birth, but now living in Perth, Australia. She tells us about her knitwear brand I Love Mr. Mittens.
Please tell us a little about yourself and how your designs utilize wool? Why did you choose wool for knitwear?
I Love Mr Mittens collections are made with 100% wool. All of the designs are hand knitted in Australia and sold worldwide. I have always had a passion for knitting and started knitting at a young age with my mother and grandmother. I chose wool for its natural and sustainable qualities and of course it’s one of the most beautiful materials to work with.
What brings you to Australia?
I moved to Australia four years ago. I met my fiancée in Belgium and after less than a year together he was offered a job in Perth so I moved with him. It is a wonderful country to live in and I don’t regret my decision for a second.
What is the meaning behind the name of your label?
The name I Love Mr. Mittens started as a bit of a joke. It’s actually a cat’s name, and knitwear just reminded us of a warm and fuzzy animal. So out of this inspiration I ‘temporarily’ named it Mr. Mittens. That later changed into I love Mr. Mittens.
As the label grew it became more and more difficult to alter the name. So far the reactions to the name have been overwhelmingly positive with most people loving the unique quality I Love Mr. Mittens has. I suppose it stands out and creates discussion about where the name comes from.
What is your favourite thing about wool?
Wool comes in so many different sizes and colours. I love to experiment with different stitches and techniques. It is such a fun and versatile material. I still love the transition of wool on a cone to this big beautiful chunky knit by simply using these two sticks. I get excited about this process every time.
Are there new collections with wool that you are working on?
Yes, we have just finalised the new collection for AW 2015 which will launch in store and online in Australia in April 2015. As always it has the signature big, chunky look.
How can people purchase your collection. Will it be available in Belgium too?
Our AW2014 collection will go online for pre order on Nov 1st for the last time. It usually sells out in a couple of days and we ship worldwide. From December, I am closing the website until April 2015 when we will launch a new website and the AW2015 collection. From September 2015 we will have a range of selected stockists in Europe and the Northern Hemisphere.
What do you think of The Campaign for Wool?
I think it is a wonderful initiative to bring together wool farmers and designers of every kind of level.
Wool is such an amazing fibre to promote. It is an easy product to work with, sustainable, trans-seasonal, renewable and so on…
I think with the campaign a lot of small, independent wool producers have seen significant business growth. I think that’s a wonderful by-product of the campaign. People care again where their materials come from and how items are produced. In today’s market consumers are more aware of what they are purchasing.
Hopefully I can attend Wool Week Antwerpen soon, it will be a great pre cursor to Wool Week in Australia in 2015 and all the events that go with it!