Needle & Thread has quickly become a go-to for women who want a statement piece but don't want to look overtly fussy and also care about value for money...
‘I don’t really think we’re a girly brand, but I do think we’re a feminine brand which is maybe a bit more grown-up,’ says Hannah Coffin, the founder of Needle & Thread. Working with artisans in India and the UK, the British brand handcrafts occasion wear and separates all with a contemporary edge. Think intricately embroidered sweatshirts, delicately beaded tops alongside full length frothy tulle gowns.
It’s quickly become a go-to for women who want a statement piece but don’t want to look overtly fussy and also care about value for money. With a focus on design and creating silhouettes that are super flattering, its appeal also lies in the fact that you get all this without a hefty price tag, with the majority of dresses checking out around the £300 mark.
Here, Hannah talks textiles, sweatshirts and why her relationship with the customer always comes first…
‘My own style growing up was quite eclectic. Like any young girl I’ve gone through all sorts of phases and there are, of course, some you’d want to bury! I started doing embroidery and knitting when I was six years old. It was my Grandmother’s way of keeping us children entertained. When I was eleven, I was given a Christmas present of an old Singer sewing machine and that was when I started making my own clothes. So there’s definitely a textile background that’s been handed down.’
‘We launched with ready-to-wear about five years ago. We started on ASOS and it quickly took off. We’re now stocked in Selfridges, Harrods and Nordstrom to name a few. And on Net-a-Porter we are one of their best performing and growing contemporary brands.’
‘It was our customer that really drove the demand for us to start doing bridalwear. Our customer care staff were getting about 30 enquiries a day asking if we did bridalwear. I wanted to do it but wanted to create a collection that was still contemporary, had a fashion accent and where the price points were fair.’
‘We don’t have a typical bride as our customer is so global. It used to be traditional to change for the party aspect of a wedding or for the going away part and I do think that’s becoming a trend again so we have lots of different customers. It’s not just one dress anymore.
‘We recently started doing bridal looks with a selection of colour options and that’s been really interesting. When we launched our vivid red option, within 72 hours we had sold 15 dresses. Brides don’t always just want to wear white.’
‘Our blouses, t-shirts and sweatshirts are also hugely popular. I love the way a more casual item can actually be really beautiful and luxurious. Take our sweatshirts. All the motifs on them are hand-drawn. And then the artwork is engineered to each size. So say one person is a size 8 and another is a size 16. The pattern will sit correctly on each body. That makes such a difference. For me it’s not just about looking good, but feeling good too so we’ll concentrate a lot on the wearability and fit.’
‘I want to dress real girls so it’s really important for me that our price points are accessible. For me, it is much more sustainable to wear a piece that costs £300 rather than £3000. And I like to create pieces that are timeless and good value for money. That way you can buy something and know that you can wear it again with a different bag or shoes and it’s not going to date. Plus you’re not terrified that you’re going to ruin it when dancing or spill something on it.’
‘We’ve had some big Hollywood names that have been photographed wearing some of our designs including Drew Barrymore, Sarah Jessica Parker, Emma Roberts and and Dakota Fanning. It always really exciting to see. But it’s when a certain influencer snaps themselves in something or tags us, that we really notice a spike in sales.’
‘Our repeat customer rate is really high. They have a really emotional relationship with us and are always tagging us on our Instagram. When you go to an event you always remember what you were wearing. So I think we’re associated with a lot of positive times in their lives.’