I’m just back from a trip to Italy where I was talking about ‘Ageless Style’ at an industry event. One of the guests asked me to suggest some good, grown-up labels and one brand I mentioned immediately was Hope. Designed for women over-40, Hope is a new fashion label available online (Hopefashion.co.uk) and via social selling – like jewellery brand Stella & Dot, or for those of us of a certain generation: Tupperware. It’s also the name of founder Nayna McIntosh’s mum. McIntosh told me that Hope’s ‘pop-up boutiques’ are incredibly popular. Swap the hassle of a busy shopping street and sweating it out in a badly lit changing room for trying stuff on at a friend’s house with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, and clearly, you have a very appealing concept. McIntosh left M&S, after many years, to do her own thing and is absolutely committed to creating clothes that are ‘easy to pull on, comfortable to wear and make women feel fabulous.’
I’ve seen the collection of jersey basics designed for layering, signature pop-on dresses and showstopping jackets and gilets, and the quality of the jersey and the knitwear is great. Though some items are quite expensive, and the feel is a bit Eileen Fisher with the odd Per Una moment thrown in. I particularly like the red Ponte Di Roma jersey dress (above) and the cashmere poncho. Hope’s campaign featuring gorgeous models Pia Gronning and Sinead Blaney has scored a few extra brownie points, too.