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Designer Profile - Shi Cashmere
SHI, has been a leader in alternative cashmere design for over 40 years. The founder, Shayesteh Nazemi, known to everyone as “Shi,” started the company in 1982. Originally from Yaz, the oldest city in Iran, Shi left her country to study design at Central St. Martins School of Art and Design in London in 1964, during that time she was one of the only women at the school. Shi returned to Iran to create a line of silk jersey evening wear. However, the 1979 Iranian Revolution forced her to flee the country with to next to nothing. Through this difficult time, Shi was able to adapt and innovate, leading to a deviation from the norm that irrevocably altered the way that one of the most luxurious fabrics, cashmere, is viewed and treated around the world.
With determination and a vision, Shi was the first to change the shape of Scottish knitwear. Not one of the Scottish mills would produce for her because they didn’t like the new style she was designing. Rather than back down, she bought a mill housed in an old Scottish farmhouse in 1982. After placing an ad in the local newspaper for a full time knitter, she began to produce her iconic oversized, draping sweaters that had been deemed too “extreme” by the Scottish cashmere industry. Soon after, many followed suit, resulting in a revolution of cashmere as a fashion material. The original mill is still in operation today. SHI is singular in its relaxed femininity and understated modernity.