Ryan Roche’s New Rockefeller Center Boutique Is Bursting With Recycled Cashmere Sweaters

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Get ready for a little downtown madness: Ryan Roche is opening a store in Manhattan and even on Zoom it’s obvious she’s buzzing with excitement. “There’s something about Rockefeller Center, it’s an iconic New York destination,” said the designer, who grew up in Idaho and lived in upstate New York for a long time. . This is where Roche and her family went into “survival hibernation mode” at the start of the pandemic, and it was during the lockdowns that she decided to reset the knitwear brand she founded in 2011.

“I started my brand making cashmere sweaters,” said Roche, who is known for her tactile pieces in a serene, minimalist palette and is, to some extent, a victim of her own success. The line grew in size and categories, until, she says, “the direction I was going as a designer and as an owner of my business no longer felt sustainable.”

Cashmere in an array of colors and tones.

Photo: Courtesy of Ryan Roche

It was time, she thought, to get back to what she had started: cashmere knitwear, but with a difference. Roche now works with recycled cashmere fibers derived from pre-consumer waste yarn, which instead of being discarded, is color sorted, shredded, carded and made into new yarn. “There’s no dye, which is amazing and super eco-friendly,” she explained.

Roche knitwear will be housed in the new 500 square foot boutique. It is a “window on the world”, but which reflects its own universe. “It’s very clean and airy,” the designer said, adding that she thinks modern retail is all about the experience. “At the end of the day, you want your customers to leave and say, ‘I want to keep a piece of this with me, because it was such an inspiring and beautiful experience. ”

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