Designers We Love: 360 Sweaters
The husband-wife team, Bruce and Leslie Gifford, launched the contemporary knitwear brand in 2009 after selling their successful SWEATER.COM business in 2006. Leslie’s New York upbringing and West Coast lifestyle inspires her love and passion for creating casual yet dramatic luxury knitwear. Bruce is the perfect counterpart to her exquisite taste, bringing a lifetime of knowledge about global sourcing and fashion marketing to create an exciting brand that is unique in the marketplace. In a short time, the bi-coastal couple has built the hottest international brand in women’s better contemporary knitwear by blending effortless beach chic with sexy sophistication.360SWEATER is offered only at the finest stores in the U.S., Europe and Canada. In addition to 360SWEATER, July 2013 saw the launch of their latest, edgier collection, Skull Cashmere. It is largely driven by the creative vision of their New York based son, Andrew. Like the circle made up of 360 degrees, everything comes back around to family and the creative energy that binds them together.
What inspired your latest collection?
There is so much creativity behind designing, and usually if I love something I want it on the line.
I’m also very inspired day to day by different European fashion and designers. I get a lot of inspiration by watching closely what the young fashionistas are wearing at the moment. They are the ones who create a lot of the trends.
What did you see as the top Summer 2015 fashion trends?
The 70’s are back, but in a more feminine way. It’s BOHO all the way. From Saint Laurent to Zara, it’s all about prints, floral, studs and fringe.
We’re also seeing a lot of flared jeans, birkenstocks and gladiators which look amazing with our white cashmere and fringed cashmere sweaters.
What are among your favorites?
I’m obsessed with anything Isabel Marant right now…boho chic at its best. I am also loving Chloe who is at the top of their game. WHITE anything… I am also loving the return of the old time sport sneakers from Nike and Adidas .
Throw my sweaters over any of these looks and I’m ready for a day of shopping or a romantic evening with my hubby.
What would you say is one of the most defining and playful fashion pieces for women?
CONFIDENCE…always your BEST accessory. And of course a GREAT bag, A GREAT shoe, and a 360CASHMERE sweater.
What inspires you in creating some of the season’s hottest and most trend-setting styles?
Spending time between Malibu and New York is always very inspiring for me. I love the energy of New York mixed with the beachy vibe of Malibu.
My best friend Jodi who has the best fashion style I know and is very inspiring to me.
Are there any rules to fashion you live by?
Fashion rules are usually meant to be broken…
How do you use social media to build your brand?
360Cashmere and Skull Cashmere both use Facebook and Instragram to build our brand awareness and connect to our customers.
There are constantly exciting projects, events, and photoshoots that we love to share and people love to see.
Best advice you’ve ever received?
To my younger self, my Dad always told me not to let anyone break my spirit. And of course, always be your own true self and don’t compromise that for anything. Challenge yourself every day…knowledge nourishes creativity.
Greatest success or achievement with the brand?
Seeing my pieces being worn by beautiful women every day when I’m out and about in New York or Los Angeles.
My grandmother and Kate Moss.
How would you describe your personal style?
My personal style is a West Coast meets East Coast mix of rocker chic. Trends are just here for the moment… I buy the things I love, and love the things I buy.
3 Summer must-haves:
A white cashmere sweater from our Fall collection is my all year round essential, and I usually throw that on over my bikini after a day at the beach.
I also can’t live without my Isabel Marant Birkenstocks and a white T-shirt.