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Mint Velvet in three words is relaxed, luxury, glamour. Liz Houghton and Lisa Agar-Rea and I founded the label eight years ago. As women in our mid-forties, we were frustrated by the lack of clothing available to us. We were edged out of younger brands, while older ones were too formal and outdated. We got chatting at Liz’s kitchen table in April 2009 and Mint Velvet was born. We sold our first piece in October that year.

The best thing about working with friends is that we are all different characters with our own individual style. I like grungier clothes with a dressy twist; Liz wears a tailored look really well – a good pair of jeans, heels and white shirt; while Lisa favours sexier, sparklier pieces. Combined, our styles cover all bases.

I graduated with a degree in fashion from Ravensbourne. I first worked for a trend-forecasting agency, which was invaluable for understanding the global trends landscape and trusting my gut instinct. After three years I missed not working with physical product and moved on to design for high-street fashion brands.

I’m going to Copenhagen this spring – I visit twice a year. Mint Velvet has a lot of similarities to the Danish aesthetic and hygge way of life. We relate to the style and quality, the clean and fresh approach, the nesting and cosiness. While there, I eat in the meatpacking district – there’s an amazing restaurant called Höst. The city’s very compact and I walk everywhere, discovering the unique fashion and homeware stores.

Mint Velvet in three words is relaxed, luxury, glamour.  Liz Houghton and Lisa Agar-Rea and I founded the label eight years ago. As women in our mid-forties, we were frustrated by the lack of clothing available to us. We were edged out of younger brands, while older ones were too formal and outdated. We got chatting at Liz’s kitchen table in April 2009 and Mint Velvet was born. We sold our first piece in October that year. 

The best thing about working with friends is that we are all different characters with our own individual style. I like grungier clothes with a dressy twist; Liz wears a tailored look really well – a good pair of jeans, heels and white shirt; while Lisa favours sexier, sparklier pieces. Combined, our styles cover all bases. 

Music inspires me. Rag ‘n’ Bone Man is a current favourite. He has an amazing voice. I admire designers such as Helmut Lang and Ann Demeulemeester for their clever cutting and draping, and Isabel Marant, who is commercial but clever. You’ll mostly find me wearing a slouchy off-theshoulder top with skinny trousers or a pencil skirt with heels. I’ll put on simple white trainers on busy days. The Mint Velvet woman is ageless. She likes to feel sexy and on-trend but not in an obvious way.

Biker jeans are our best seller. The fabric is fantastic – it’s easy to look after, fits extremely well and holds its shape. For spring we’re introducing new biker styles, such as frayed hems.

Pink, notably bubblegum, is our colour of the season. Blues also feature heavily. Traditionally we’ve been known for muted colours – greys and blush pinks – but we’re feeling braver and more playful with colour lately.

Romantic and sporty is how I’d describe our spring collection. The romance is vivid in ruffles, crochet, lace trims and embroidery. The sports theme is very pure – great lightweight parkas with zip and drawstring details, and rib knits that can be coordinated – a tube skirt, top and cardigan to be worn together or broken.

Our prints are inspired by nature and done in an abstract, ombré way – we call them non-print prints.