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Meet the woman behind minimalist and sophisticated label Goat

Jane Lewis, founder of the womenswear brand Goat, talks to Drapers about her business.

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Jane Lewis founded contemporary womenswear brand Goat in 2001. Originally a specialist cashmere brand, it has since grown into a full ready-to-wear brand that also offers dresses and separates. Known for its minimalist and sophisticated feminine styles, the brand is a favourite of the premium womenswear market and has picked up fans including the Duchess of Cambridge and Gwyneth Paltrow. Wholesale prices range from £136 for a silk blouse to £353 for a coat.

Today, Goat has 30 stockists in the UK, including Matchesfashion and Net-a-Porter. It also has 20 stockists overseas. Growth remains strong for the brand as it heads towards its 20th anniversary next year, and Lewis says that turnover for the year to March 2019 grew by 26% year on year.

What’s the first thing you do when you get up in the morning?

Look at the list I made the night before on my bedside table.

What was your first job?

As an assistant to [fashion designer] Elspeth Gibson.

How would you describe the brand in one sentence?

Effortless luxury and discreet style.

What’s your coffee (or tea) order?

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Goat autumn 19

Black coffee.

Where are your favourite place to shop?

I love browsing for vintage. Clothes, obviously, but also things for my home.

Last fashion purchase? Why did it catch your eye?

Two pairs (black and rose) of octagonal Celine sunglasses. I loved the shape and their dramatic simplicity.

Emails or phone calls?

Both. Phone for friends and email for work.

Most important lesson you’ve learned during your career?

To be willing and able to receive and act upon good advice. You need to be able to listen your head over your heart at times.

What would be your ideal office/meeting space?

Somewhere white and spacious.

What’s your favourite part of the creative process?

Working in the studio with my pattern cutters. Watching initial sketches come to life is always thrilling.

What has been your proudest moment since you launched?

Opening my own Goat flagship store on Conduit Street, London, in 2014. A real milestone for the company as a brand.

What’s the last book you read?

My Grandmother Sends Her Regards and Apologies by Fredrik Backman

Last holiday?

Tel Aviv. 

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Goat autumn 19

Who in the fashion/retail industry inspires you?

I really like the candle and fragrance brand Diptyque. It is a very stylish brand, and has managed to harness its own unique identity and sensibility.

What’s the biggest challenge facing fashion today?

Without question, implementing sustainable practise within companies. It will take time to revolutionise the way in which we shop, wear, respect and care for our clothing in a way that has for too long been cast aside.

One piece of advice would you give your younger self?

Learn to pattern cut.

Who do you turn to when you need advice?

My father.

What would we find you doing at the weekend?

Visiting the flower market early. I adore it. I always go overboard – I love masses and masses of really tall foliage (I have very high ceilings) which I wrestle into the car then I spend half the day arranging.

What are you looking forward to most in the year ahead?

I’m working on a couple of interesting projects … but you’ll just have to watch this space.

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