Angela Bell – “The Queen of cashmere”
Angela Bell is behind the luxury cashmere label Queene and Belle which is sold through MatchesFashion.com.
Dubbed by British Vogue as “the Queen of cashmere” and by Vogue USA as “One of the new knitwear designers to know”, the former Pringle of Scotland designer is responsible for modernising the way cashmere is perceived today….getting rid of the conservative twin set and pearl/golf argyles image and injecting colour and fun with her playful intarsia designs which have since appeared on celebrities including Madonna, Jennifer Lopez, Clemence Poesy and Liv Tyler to name a few.
Angela is a true cashmere connoisseur and has experimented with cashmere in so many different ways from creating bikini top and bottoms in the luxury fabric to boiling it to create a vintage cashmere flannel. Although the label is stocked internationally, Angela has chosen to base her business in the Scottish borders (all of her materials are sourced within a 25kim radius!), as a means of supporting the local economy as well as helping to preserve theheritage and traditional techniques of the Scottish knitwear industry.
Queene and Belle was founded in 2000 by Angela Bell, a former Pringle of Scotland designers who tired of the traditionalism and conservatism associated with cashmere was determined to create a label that took a more contemporary and light hearted approach to the luxury fabric.
Today Queene and Belle is renowned for its quirky intarsia cashmere knitwear which often feature cheeky tongue in cheek slogans and motifs (think leaping hares, tropical Hawaiian flowers, Red Indian chiefs and skulls).
Queene and Belle are proud to support local Scottish heritage and traditional craftsmanship. The company is based in the world famous Scottish town of Hawick-the historical home of cashmere in the borders and all of their products continue to be produced there by artisan craftsmen . The specialist knitting techniques in the area such as intarsia are fully embraced by the brand, with some of the graphic images used on designs taking up to 12 hours to knit a single piece.
Angela’s family have been in the knitwear industry for over 3 generations (Her grandfather used to work at the Pringle mill and would often travel the world exhibiting Pringle’s knitwear at department stores (Angela has photos of him at work) . Angela was taught to knit at an early age by her grandparents, and so she has an extensive knowledge of knitwear.
Queene and Belle only uses the very best cashmere from Todd & Duncan (based in Kinross just North of Edinburgh), one of the oldest cashmere spinners in the world established in 1867 who source their yarn from inner Mongolia. They are world renowned for supplying the best quality yarn, their cashmere fibre comes from the underbelly of the goat and is a long staple with the average length being 35mm. The fact that their cashmere is long staple means that there is less chance of pilling. Cheaper cashmere us made from the shorter staple fibres and if the fibre is rubbed it will come out, gather together and form pilling balls.