Brora Q&A: An Interview With Founder & Creative Director Victoria Stapleton

Victoria Stapleton, Founder & Creative Director of Brora, wearing a Spring ’22 cashmere cardigan  – Image courtesy of Brora

CEO Today speaks to Victoria Stapleton, Founder & Creative Director of Brora, about the importance of sustainability, her dream brand collaboration, and Brora’s future goals. 

What is Brora’s founding story? 

I started Brora in 1993 because I was passionate about Scottish textiles, particularly cashmere and tweeds. When my family became involved in a Hunters of Brora, a 100-year-old tweed mill in Scotland I jumped at the opportunity of creating a retail arm, which later became Brora.

As a carbon-neutral company, Brora is a champion of sustainability. Why do you believe sustainable fashion matters?

Since the beginning, making small runs using quality natural materials like cashmere, linen and wool, as well as making as locally as possible, was always a big part of our agenda. I grew up in Cumbria and spent a lot of time in Scotland so I have a close relationship with the beautiful British countryside and it gives you perspective on our changing planet. Now with five children – three daughters, two step-daughters and a granddaughter – the idea of leaving a planet-damaging legacy is unthinkable. So, more conscious of our environmental impact in the last few years, we’ve made changes accordingly and continue to look for innovative ways to improve all the time. 

In your opinion, what makes a luxury item timeless? 

Timeless luxury is what I think Brora does best. We love reinventing classic pieces that feel fresh and current each year, choosing vibrant new colours, using quality materials and sometimes centuries-old beautifully honed techniques. But the way we stay classic and create timeless wardrobe staples is to avoid piggy-backing trends and to stay true to Brora’s core identity of creating wearable, subtle, chic clothing that spans country and city-living with a nod to British heritage style and whimsical vintage bohemia.

What would be a dream brand collaboration for Brora?

I love Joanna Lumley. She’s such a British icon. Although each time we collaborate with someone, I think ‘how can we better this?’ Then someone new falls into our lap and I’m equally excited about the next one. Every collaboration we’ve ever done has to feel genuine – a perfect marriage of sorts – so it is usually someone who has loved Brora for years or a brand that holds many of the same values. We never use the same collaborative model and love to approach each one uniquely. I think that’s what makes each one feel so fresh and exciting and, in turn, it makes sense to our customers. Recently, everyone’s gone mad for our collaboration with floristry sensation Willow Crossley and in the last couple of years we’ve designed with two British acting legends Kristin Scott Thomas and Helena Bonham Carter who both love Brora, really get us, and threw themselves into designing fabulous collections that our customers adored as a result. 

What would Brora like to achieve over the next 3-5 years?

We have so many exciting things in the pipeline – a beautiful A/W collection, a collaboration between two historic fashion-families and also a famous artist this Autumn (watch this space…). Our 30th anniversary is next year. And otherwise, as long as I stay passionate about Brora, I hope we will continue to produce beautiful sustainable British wardrobe gems for years to come. 

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