Venezuelan born founder and mother of three, María Busquets, launched Cashmirino - the first pure cashmere baby brand globally - in 2000. Today, the eco-luxury label boasts the world's most diverse collection of cashmere clothes for little ones, and sets the bar high for designer slow fashion for children.
María’s dream was to create her own baby clothing line using solely 100% natural fibres, harmonising style and ecological concerns. Over 20 years ago, prioritising the values of slow ‘fashion’ over fast trade, Cashmirino was a pioneer of the trend which now dominates the industry. Born in Italy, based in London, the premium brand’s ‘capsule’ collections follow a natural limited edition philosophy - for children to wear art, not fashion. Each carefully curated garment is made in Peru, Italy or Inner Mongolia, home to the world’s finest natural fibres and incredibly skilled trusted artisans - predominantly women - who use age-old traditions of hand-embroidery, crocheting, appliqué and smocking, to produce comfortable, durable collections, kind to the most delicate skin. ‘Cashmirino’s pure art is made by mothers worldwide for children worldwide. We are proud to collaborate with artisan mums in different countries and dress children all around the globe’ - María Busquets.
The Italian Tale of the Dress
It is a long intricate process to complete each artwork, via a lengthy journey between a variety of small specialist laboratories - for cutting, stitching in northern Milan, and pressing. The hand embroidery alone of a single Cashmirino smock dress takes approximately 25 to 30 hours, with some up to 45 hours.
Each fabric - of original Liberty, Italian linens, wool, cottons or silk - is carefully cut, scrupulously following María’s designs. Embroidery and smock dresses are then sent to the homes of specialist embroidery ladies, to commence the extensive process of dress sampling. A continuous exchange of messages and photography between María and the hand-embroiderers culminates in obtaining the ultimate combination of colours and design. For each style, they hand embroider a series of dresses yet never make more than nine pieces per size; certain designs even come in four pieces or less, each embellished with a hand embroidered number in the linen. This exclusivity is what elevates Cashmirino embroidery dresses from fashion to art.
The Inner Mongolia Journey
The continuous search for the best quality yarns led Maria to Inner Mongolia, home to the world’s finest cashmere. María has travelled to the region for decades, to closely work on each sample - a gruelling process due to the language barriers and number of complicated intricate designs she chooses. Yet María would never change the process she’s abided by for over 20 years, as the resulting quality and beauty of the extensive collections would never be the same.
‘That feeling of accomplishment in producing such a unique collection in such small quantities per style - it’s second to none. This, for me, is luxury; it is art. The magic of witnessing these talented and dedicated craftswomen admire what we achieve again and again. We’ve built a strong bond of mutual respect and understanding. Although I don’t speak Chinese, we often communicate simply through gestures and facial expressions. We understand each other as we share the same artistic vein and are striving for the same goal. We make these challenging Cashmirino collections as we want them to be as special as the children who will wear them over generations.’ - María Busquets.
The Pathway to Peru, Close to María’s Roots
María was invited to Peru by PromPerú. She instantly fell in love with the country, its artisans, the food, the nature, and - of course - the softness of the handpicked Peruvian pima cotton and the high-altitude Peruvian royal alpaca, an eco-friendly and renewable fibre. María is continuously inspired by Peru’s traditions of knitting, colour combination, and folklore, and tries to bring these learnings to life whilst designing and creating collections in the heart of Peru itself. A long day concludes with a pisco sour made by the local laboratory’s owner and a good friend.
‘Being Venezuelan, I feel so close to home in Peru. There are no language barriers so I can joke and share more personal anecdotes with the Peruvian artisans. This intimate exchange of learning and ideas is always the best creative stimulus for me, continuously improving each design.’ - Maria Busquets.
Cashmirino is a legacy; artworks made to last, to bring happiness and warmth to the child for whom the item was bought and to who will inherit the piece. Despite the challenges the world has faced within the retail industry and beyond, the family-owned Cashmirino brand has achieved immense e-commerce success, whilst sustaining an extensive loyal international customer base throughout.
Cashmirino’s flagship boutique is housed in the renowned Burlington Arcade, ‘the jewel of Mayfair’.