Special thanks to “The UB Post” for conducting yet another exclusive interview with GOBI Cashmere’s latest collaborating designer Martin Parker. This time see what he has to say about GOBI’s new motto.
- Everybody deserves the comfort of Mongolian cashmere –
The global COVID-19 pandemic has brought on many changes into our lives, including the way we work and the clothing we wear, creating “the new normal”. As more people are forced into lockdowns worldwide, they are seeking comfortable and practical clothing that are still stylish. To salvage people from this long journey, Mongolia’s largest premium cashmere brand GOBI is bringing in new collections that blend classic with lounge and sportswear.
Fitting with the current times, GOBI’s motto and vision of “We Make Cashmere a Lifestyle” will satisfy your newfound fashion interests. The premium brand is now designing cashmere outfits that are casual, comfy and versatile but also gives the classy, sophisticated and trendy look. GOBI doesn’t want something as special as cashmere to be limited to just a small group of people and so, it’s striving to make cashmere the choice of garment to wear every day, every season, every occasion, for everybody of all walks of life.
Mongolians are no strangers to the comfort and warmth of cashmere. From babies and children to young adults and seniors, everybody wears cashmere throughout the year to stay not only warm during colder weathers but also cool during warmer temperatures. It is an accessible fabric for them that has been with them all their life. They don’t see it as a luxury but a vital part of their life, especially in the freezing winter. Cashmere can now be part of your life as well if you’re ready for it. GOBI’s online store delivers premium cashmere clothing and accessories to practically every corner in the world.
GOBI is on a mission to make this marvelous material accessible to everybody in the world as every single person deserves to experience the comfort and joy of 100 percent Mongolian cashmere as a little luxury in their everyday lives. It is time to disrupt the traditional perceptions of cashmere such as that it is designed for older people, only for special occasions and tend to be boring. Cashmere clothing now comes in all colors and styles to accommodate the needs of every customer regardless of their age, gender or fashion style.
More and more brands in Mongolia, the USA, China, and Europe are offering cashmere products at a reasonable price to show that cashmere can be easy to wear and style no matter what the occasion is. For example, GOBI’s latest collections features athleisure and loungewear that is snug to wear at home and fashionable to wear outside. Like so, slowly but surely, the world is breaking down the walls built around cashmere and starting to enjoy all of the benefits it comes with. Cashmere is becoming the new casual.
The UB Post spoke with UK-based designer and consultant for GOBI’s latest collections Martin Parker once again to delve into transforming cashmere into a lifestyle, ways to facilitate the process and the health benefits of wearing cashmere among other interesting things about this luxurious material in the interview below.
GOBI has set a new motto to make cashmere a lifestyle. What is your opinion on this? Do you think it’s possible to incorporate cashmere into our everyday wear?
Yes, absolutely. In our last interview, we talked about cashmere for everybody. I think it’s great that GOBI is now introducing cashmere into a more lifestyle arena. There are so many benefits to having cashmere in your life. Because they are able to offer cashmere at very reasonable prices, it becomes accessible to everybody. I think that cashmere can become part of your lifestyle because it is not something that you only wear but you can surround your home with. It is a good idea to say that cashmere is a lifestyle.
Cashmere is known to be super soft, lightweight and hypoallergenic. What other properties does it have? Does wearing this fabric on a daily basis have any health benefits?
Some of the best cashmere comes from Mongolia. Mongolia is getting colder now, and it is much colder where the goats are. That’s why cashmere has the best insulating properties. Cashmere keeps goats warm in Mongolia’s extreme weather conditions, so it keeps the person who wears it warm in wintertime but also quite cool in spring and summer.
Cashmere is also great for people with skin problems. Whereas wool can be very scratchy and heavy, cashmere is very light and has hypoallergenic properties. It’s very good for anybody with skin conditions particularly because it is very soft on the skin. It is also moisture-wicking, which means it draws all of the sweat out of your body. I’ve noticed that cashmere is now more used for sportswear because of that benefit.
In general, there are loads of benefits to wearing cashmere. It is a luxury yarn and luxury fabric, and you can’t forget that. Cashmere takes a lot of care like handwashing and combing almost like a pet but if you look after it well, it gets better with age. It stops pilling as much and the yarn becomes an heirloom - something that you hand down to families for generations. As long as you look after it and the moths don’t get to it, cashmere can last a lifetime.
I guess it becomes a lifetime investment.
Absolutely. GOBI offers high-quality cashmere, but a lot of the market out there are offering cashmere at really cheap prices and if they are offering it at cheap prices, then it is going to be cheaply sought cashmere. If you want cashmere in your life, I recommend GOBI’s products because their prices are more realistic, not luxury, and are made of high-quality cashmere sourced from Mongolia.
Even though it is quite expensive, cashmere can become an investment with your care. You can buy sweaters that are made of wool or polyester, but they won’t last as long as cashmere. If you really want to invest in a beautiful sweater that is going to keep you warm and has all kinds of health benefits to it, then I think a cashmere sweater is the perfect choice.
There is a stereotype that it is for older and/ wealthier people. What do you think about this?
I think that nowadays more people are getting to know that cashmere is for every day. Cashmere certainly did have this image of being classic and for older people but that has gone out of the window now. So many brands that are coming out into the market and onto the scene are offering cashmere. Especially European brands are offering cashmere that you can wear on you pair of jeans – cashmere that are bright and fun and have logos and stripes. I think that a different perception of cashmere is evoking now. But the one perception of cashmere that will always remain is that it is one of the best luxury materials you can find in the world.
Cashmere is rare and comes with a price. We just have to remember that there are a lot of people doing cashmere for very low prices, especially in Europe though I’m not sure about China, and as a consumer, you have got to think that if that is a cheap priced pay, the cashmere must be cheap, in which case, the cashmere won’t be of good quality.
Can you tell me about the perception of cashmere that western consumers, including Europeans and Americans, have? Are they ready to accept cashmere into their everyday wear?
In my experience, I found that especially the US loves cashmere. Americans love the feeling of cashmere plus the luxurious quality it has. I think Europeans are the same. It has taken some time for people in the UK to get used to cashmere because most of them thought that it was for old people or too expensive for them. As I said before, more and more brands are coming out with reasonably priced cashmere and people are getting more used to it. But also, there are a lot of cashmere blended with other fabrics now.
Overall, Americans love cashmere and the Europeans, especially Italians, love cashmere and it is starting to really take off in the UK as well.
What do you think will help to ease their wardrobe shift to cashmere?
First of all, the idea of cashmere just being used for classic, formal and smart looks needs to be broken down. That all lies on the company selling the cashmere. For instance, GOBI needs to show people how to wear cashmere. When I say that, I mean to maybe show that cashmere can be worn with denim, casually and in other ways. I’ve worked with GOBI on the Autumn/ Winter 2020 Collection, and we tried to show more bright colors and stripes and make it more fun. That helps change people’s perception change in how to wear cashmere and how it works on their wardrobe.
How was this idea incorporated in GOBI’s latest collections?
For example, “Winter Spice” was based around the spicy colors we usually find in hot countries. As trends and seasons start to blur more, I thought that the colors gave a more luxurious look. The other benefit of cashmere is that it takes color beautifully. The new collection was all about kind of rusty and earthy colors like terracotta, dark camels, earthy reds, browns and chocolate is a color coming through very strongly. It is all gives very tonal, beautiful and luxurious appearance.
The knitwear shades that I designed had more athleisure feel to them. Little draw string on the sides gave them even sportier and more relaxed vibe, making it perfect for wearing both inside and outside.
That is very interesting. Normally we don’t associate cashmere with athleisure. Is this a new trend in the cashmere industry?
Just recently, there has been a lot more cashmere loungewear such as jogging pants. That’s another thing with cashmere – it is great to just lounge around in, yet you look great when you go out and pop into the shops.
I also designed some hooded designs for the new collection that look like sweat tops. I added little details that you find on jerseys and sportswear on cashmere sweaters to give the sporty look. I liked the contrast that cashmere is a very luxurious fabric and yet we’re doing it in a very casual, relaxed styling. It makes cashmere more accessible to everybody.
Care is critical for cashmere clothes as it is a delicate material. Making it into a lifestyle would require people to wear and use it more often. Do you have any tips on prolonging the use and durability of cashmere clothes and accessories for a longer time?
First of all, cashmere can be handwashed. I know that you can get a lot of machine-washable cashmere now. The really good thing about cashmere that I don’t think many people understand is that it can actually be quite odorless. Because it is moisture-wicking, you don’t have worry about sweating or washing it every week. But when you do wash it, you just take care, putting it on gentle wash or hand wash and then gently rinse it out. You should lie it flat to dry. Usually, cashmere doesn’t need ironing because it is wrinkle free, but it will need combing as it pills. Cashmere is a natural fabric, and it is natural for it to pill but combing it a few times after a couple of wears should stop it from pilling. To do this, I recommend using an actual cashmere comb or lint remover.
If you’re going to invest in a cashmere sweater that you want to wear on the weekends, you should buy a nice and easy cashmere sweater in a color that won’t go out of fashion like camel, navy or black. Moreover, when you store cashmere, you should fold it, not hang it, because it stretches. Just fold it away in a paper or cloth bag so that the moths don’t get to it. It takes a little looking after, but it is definitely worth it.
In England, the weather is never really any good; even in summer it can be a little cold. So, I wear a cashmere sweater because it is so easy to put on. It keeps people warm when it is chilly outside and cool when it’s hot. Cashmere is great for all-year-round really as long as it’s not burning hot outside.
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