James Bond Style Inspires 007 Cashmere Collection

50 Years of James Bond Style Inspires Cashmere Collection - Publicity - Split - H 2019
1964 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. and Danjaq, LLC./Courtesy N.Peal

"Everybody has their favorite Bond," says Adam Holdsworth, owner of the British brand N.Peal, explaining that style inspiration ranges from Sean Connery to Daniel Craig films.

“He’s not a flashy guy. He’s always smartly dressed but slightly understated,” Adam Holdsworth says over the phone from London, musing on the enduring sartorial appeal of James Bond over 50 years of the movies. Holdsworth, owner and managing director of British heritage cashmere label N.Peal, is just unveiling a celebratory 007 collection and explaining how the brand’s own codes sync up with the ever-dashing movie hero. “We’re not a fashion brand; we’re about style and a timeless aesthetic.”

Just how timelessly that shared aesthetic resonates comes through in the tribute collection, with 13 pieces derived from looks from all six actors who have worn the mantle of Bond. N.Peal's association with the franchise began with 2012’s Skyfall and its star Daniel Craig, who wore a cashmere sweater that picked up the color of his piercing blue eyes. Craig also wore N.Peal cashmere pieces in the 2015 follow-up Spectre, and Holdsworth tips off that the wardrobing continues with N.Peal in the forthcoming No Time to Die: “It’s an exciting piece and and (in) an exciting scene.”

For the 007 collaboration, Holdsworth says, “We went back in the archives going back to Sean Connery. Everyone’s got their favorite Bond, so we wanted to cover all the actors. Then it was about picking images that we felt would best translate into cashmere and having a breadth of interest there, from smaller pieces like a tie, a hat or gloves but also middle-weight pieces and then the bigger heavier chunkier things.”

In faithful fashion, the offerings range from a cashmere waistcoat ($460) and knitted tie ($135) in the style of Connery in 1964's Goldfinger to a George Lazenby-inspired knit bomber jacket ($490) and fine-gauge turtleneck ($265) from 1969's On Her Majesty’s Secret Service to a play on Timothy Dalton’s fisherman-rib sweater ($550) and checked scarf ($320) in 1987's The Living Daylights. The chunky ribbed turtleneck (or polo-neck, as the Brits say) worn by Pierce Brosnan in 2002's Die Another Day is reinterpreted in cashmere and merino wool ($410), while a diamond-quilted vest with leather patches ($690) and marl sweater ($550) capture a look worn by Roger Moore in 1981's For Your Eyes Only. And, of course, the most recent Bond is captured in a cashmere crewneck to match Craig’s startling baby-blues ($350) in Skyfall.

Holdsworth is hard-pressed to name a favorite. “There so many pieces in there for different occasions, whether it’s a black roll-neck for looking cool or the marl sweater and waistcoat, which is more country,” he says. “And then the slightly more retro look from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, which still has a place in today’s world.”

The N.Peal 007 Cashmere Collection is set to debut Friday on the brand’s site, at its London locations and at its New York store on Madison Avenue, as well as via online retailer FarFetch. Founded in 1936, N.Peal is a vertical producer, with its own herds (“We bar-code back to the goats”) and uses organic chemicals and sustainable practices in its manufacturing, Holdsworth notes.

Enlarging on the Bond mystique, Holdsworth enlisted British model and actor Paul Sculfor (known on these shores for keeping company with Jennifer Aniston and Cameron Diaz over the years) for his filmed take on a 007 adventure to promote the collection, shot in locations in London and Scotland. “Bond is Bond, isn’t he? He just has global appeal,” Holdsworth explains. “He’s cool, he’s stylish and he always gets the girl.”