The Interview: Sally Muir and Joanna Osborne, Co-founders of Warm & Wonderful
Two friends who first met in 1979, Sally Muir and Joanna Osbourne are the Co-Founders of British knitwear brand, Warm & Wonderful.
Recognised for their iconic red sheep jumper which was worn by Princess Diana on two occasions, the pair have opened a new 500 sq ft pop-up store in Seven Dials, stocking its famous sweater and the brand's latest collection.
Warm & Wonderful is enjoying a sudden renaissance this year, with placements on Netflix’s The Crown, a spot in the V&A museum and a collaboration with New York’s Rowing Blazers. TheIndustry.fashion speaks to the pair to find out more about the new pop-up and the history of the brand.
Let’s first talk about what you’re most recognised for – that iconic jumper from Warm & Wonderful, worn by Princess Diana. From 1983 to the present, that jumper hasn’t been forgotten. What does that feel like?
It’s been utterly thrilling and flattering to see our 40-year-old sheep jumper revived and enjoyed by a whole new generation. They’ve even made it look cool again and we’re so glad the design has been revived and proven to have stood the test of time.
Speaking of that sheep jumper worn by Princess Diana, it’s a key focus in the store, acting as the inspiration for your décor inside, such as the wallpaper. Tell me about that.
Our new store in Seven Dials is a tribute to our sheep design. It’s rare to find a shop selling versions of one design and we wanted to really celebrate that.
Tell me about the brand, what categories it covers and its rich history?
We started as a very small knitting business, concentrating on hand framed witty knits, moving onto complex handknits and more recently cashmeres under our own names, Muir and Osborne. The business has evolved but we have always loved our sheep jumper and will be forever grateful to Princess Diana for having such great taste. The new film releases and TV shows such as The Crown, are also helping this revival.
Why has the brand selected this point in time to open a physical space?
Rowing Blazers launched our sheep jumper in October 2020, it resonated with the public and with Rowing Blazer’s superb backing, we opened our retail space on Monmouth Street to reach a wider physical audience.
Why did you choose London, and specifically Seven Dials?
We are a very British brand and our first market stall was in Covent Garden. Seven Dials is a vibrant, chic area right in the heart of London’s West End and it’s full of small and independent shops which perfectly compliment with our brand. Warm & Wonderful’s emphasis on authenticity and heritage is also reflected throughout Seven Dials.
The store itself is just a stone’s throw away from your original market stall, it must feel nice to be so close to what was once the brands home?
It’s a wonderfully complete circle and Seven Dials feels like a great home from home for our lovely brand – it made complete sense to be part of this community!
You’re experiencing a brand renaissance currently, what do you think the reasons are behind this?
There are many, mainly fortuitous timing. Diana has always been a style icon, she introduced the public to a new kind of royalty, The Crown has certainly revved up interest, and perhaps also our desire to wear more relaxed clothes that look good on video conferencing
Tell me a little bit of detail about your collaboration with New York’s Rowing Blazers.
Jack Carlson of Rowing Blazers approached us about relaunching the sheep jumper a couple of years ago. Most businesses simply copied it, but he wanted to work in collaboration with us, both on design and publicity. It’s been a revelation to work with a company with vision and integrity.
What’s the future for Warm & Wonderful, in the next year and the next five years?
Good question! Without revealing too much, we will be bringing out further sheep related designs next year and perhaps more designs from our archive may appear...