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About Kim Hargreaves
If ever there was a designer who is part of the Rowan family, it’s Kim Hargreaves.
Although born in New Zealand, Kim has lived most of her life in Holmfirth, the Yorkshire milltown where the brand was founded.
Brought up surrounded by knitting, sewing, crochet and tapestry Kim has always had a particular passion for clothes and how they are put together. She started at Rowan, where her mother then worked, on a job placement from college, printing tapestry canvases for the kits they sold at the time.
“After pestering one of Rowan’s founders Stephen Sheard, he saw my potential and gave me a chance for which I’m ever grateful,” she explains. That job placement became a job proper and Kim joined the team full time. “As Rowan moved into handknitting I moved into their design room, eventually becoming Rowan’s in-house designer.”
During her time at Rowan Kim created hundreds of designs, selected new yarn colours, and oversaw photography, styling and production of all the fashion stories within the brand’s iconic magazines. She was responsible for creating the image and philosophy of Rowan, through her designs, her influence on Rowan’s photographic style, and by commissioning ideas from some of the best talent in knitwear design at the time.
Kim’s own patterns for Rowan are just as popular today as they were when they were originally published; her design style has always been feminine and pretty, with special attention paid to fit and simple styling.
After leaving Rowan in 2003 Kim set up her own label and now publishes her pattern books independently, which are exclusively distributed by Rowan. Between her work for Rowan and her own publications her designs have now appeared in almost 100 books and brochures featuring Rowan yarn.
Kim favours neutral tones for her designs, which allows her to showcase the beautiful stitch patterns she uses to their best effect. Her ideas are often a fresh take on a classic shape, embellished with finishing touches that set her apart from the design crowd.
“Whilst I no longer design for Rowan I use the yarns in our books,” says Kim. “We work with old favorites, along with new yarns that feel right for the season and the collection. Each season I aim to bring something fresh to the collection but at its core the designs have to be wearable. My work is ever evolving, I’m always learning what possibilities handknitting offers.”
Kim’s passion for fashion and apparel, her instinctive fashion flare and her natural instinct for colour and design have lead to her worldwide reputation for producing amazing wearable handknit designs.
“Rowan is still close to my heart,” she says. “For me what is special are the wonderful people that built the brand and the team that carry it forward.”
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