Luxurious, versatile, and forever stylish, the pashmina is a sartorial staple for a reason.
Our history with these iconic stoles goes back decades. Indeed, we were one of the first in the UK to stock them, and what began as a one-off order of fewer than 30 items has since grown to become one of our bestsellers and an intrinsic part of our brand. With this in mind, we thought it was time to shed some light on how the Pickett Pashmina came to be.
It may not surprise you to learn that it starts with Trevor and a chance meeting with “someone fabulous" in Paris...
“It was back in the 1990s when we first started selling pashminas at Pickett,” says Trevor. “To cut a long story short, I knew a lady called Barbara who was fabulous, and she was selling them at the time. I bumped into her in Paris, and she gave me 24 and told me to take them home and see how they sold… In the first two days, I’d sold half of them. This was in September, and by the December I’d put in an order for 300. They were a total success story.
“At that time, we were seriously ahead of the curve by selling pashminas. We were supplying girls in Vogue House with piles of them and consumers couldn't get enough. When they were at their height, I’d say I spent about £3m on them.”
Fast-forward 30 years, and the Pickett pashmina continues to be a bestseller, but as with any item, we’ve had to adapt it to accommodate changing consumer needs, as Trevor explains.
“The original weight of the cashmere meant it pilled, so we now sell a lighter scarf that doesn’t. When you go and stay in stately homes and country houses nowadays, they have central heating, so you don’t need anything that’s too substantial anyway. People don’t want to wear scarves that are quite so heavy, and so the product we sell now is more appropriate to the consumer and the market we’re in.”
That’s not to say the lightweight version is any less cosy, though. Indeed, the enduring popularity of these scarves is down to the fact that they are, quite simply, a great way of keeping out the cold.
“Pashminas will always be popular because they’re warm!” says Trevor. “If you’re going to an outdoor opera or Ascot, a pashmina is ideal - it’s easy to carry, and when you wear it, it ruffles up which produces air pockets that keep you warm, like a duvet. And it’s these ruffles that are the absolute key to successful pashmina wearing.
Of course we all want to know, how should one wear a pashmina?
“I don’t think draping a pashmina is necessarily how you should wear them,” Trevor says. “Ruffle it into your neck, or if you’re going somewhere smart the chic way to wear it is ‘into the hip, over the tit!’. To achieve this, you take it down with the left hand (‘into the hip’) then you throw it over your shoulder with your right (‘over the tit’) to produce an elegant look.”
With so many ways to wear them, plus a selection of colours to suit any outfit or occasion (at time of writing we have over 40 shades to choose from), is it any wonder that these special scarves hold such enduring appeal?
If you’d like to explore our range, click here, or call into our Mayfair or Sloane Street stores.