For the love of Cashmere

In 2016, mother-daughter duo Elle Pugh and Yolande Ellis took on the world of luxury knitwear. As longtime lovers of cashmere, the pair recognised that there was nowhere to purchase it year-round. They subsequently launched Elle + Riley, a brand that purveys pieces of the coveted knitwear in styles that are suitable for every season.

The Auckland-based duo has a collective background in fashion and retail with Elle having worked in stores locally and in New York — she also completed a stint in PR in London — and Yolande’s former career anchored in styling for editorial and TV. Following the success of their online platform, the next natural step was to open a bricks and mortar store.

Their first was on Auckland’s Ponsonby Road in 2017, followed by a Christchurch boutique in 2018 and a Queenstown outpost earlier this year. While each space offers something slightly different, there is a common theme threaded throughout them all; that of a calm, light-filled space akin to being in someone’s home.

The retail experience for Elle + Riley is tantamount to the product itself with each serene interior creating a warm and relaxed atmosphere in which to browse the catalogue of sumptuous cashmere styles. Catering to both men and women, theirs is a customer who embraces elegance, modernity and timelessness and this is successfully reflected in the brand’s overarching ethos, particularly in their detailed approach to customer service.

Having recognised a bona fide appetite for cashmere in New Zealand, the duo has embarked on a journey to educate consumers of its many virtues. With an end goal to see people to wear cashmere every day of the year, Elle + Riley has established itself as a brand to watch.

Life is better in cashmere.

We design cashmere sweaters in gorgeous hues, elevating the everyday jean and tee combo.  

Our customers favour classic looks that balance performance, style and comfort.  Cashmere that elevates sportswear and leisurewear to luxury levels and forms the core of their wardrobe.

Cashmere has traditionally been a more daytime choice, but is now an outfit option for dinner dates and events on those in-between warm and cold evenings, whilst a cashmere hoodie worn on your way to pilates or yoga is a chic look. Cashmere pants, ponchos and travel wraps are perfect for the avid traveller.  The whole point of of wearing such a gorgeous fibre is personal indulgence, which doesn’t have a timetable of uses and is perfect for every occasion and every season.

Who doesn’t have a soft spot for cashmere?

Cashmere is known as the “jewel of fibres” and is a truly versatile yarn.  It keeps you up to 3 times warmer than wool but breathes to keep you cool in the warmer months.  Cashmere lacks lanolin making it hypoallergenic and ensuring it doesn’t feel scratchy. We source cashmere from Mongolia and manufacture in Nepal, Beijing, Shanghai and very soon New Zealand.  

Two goats. One gorgeous garment.

Cashmere is intensive to produce, from combing the undercoat of the goat to skilled artisans spinning the yarn into sweaters which always feel luxuriously soft against your skin.   It can take the undercoats of 2-3 goats to make a sweater.  Hence the saying ‘2 goats, 1 sweater’. We dont believe in ‘fast fashion’, cashmere sweaters that are made with inferior raw materials, cheap construction methods and underpaid workers.

care for your cashmere

Like a good wine, quality cashmere improves with age and gets softer.  We want our sweaters to be passed onto the next generation and for this reason we have created our own care products.  

If  you care for it and show it love, your cashmere will love you right back.