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At Frances Austen, we make liveable luxury that will last a lifetime. In a culture that is instant, and a fashion industry oriented around disposability, we’re here to bring you timeless clothing to cherish forever. Inspired by the luxurious cashmere sweaters our founder inherited from her own grandmother, we’re recreating that heirloom quality for you – modern, well-rounded, grounded women.
We care deeply about treating people and the planet well. If you do too, a great way to start is by rewearing your clothes, reducing your plastic footprint, and promoting responsible, ethical production. Our aim is always to make this easier for you – which is why we’ve put these practices into everything we create. Our pieces are made to last, super versatile, and comprised of eco-friendly, natural materials. Frances Austen is female-founded (more on that below) and powered by a group of like-minded women.
Meet Margaret – founder of Frances Austen. After a career in fast fashion and a realization of the toll that society’s rapid clothing consumption was taking on the planet, Margaret decided to shift her next step around one thing – creating something that lasts. The “something” itself became a personal solution she had been seeking – where are the high quality cashmere sweaters that will actually last? With a lot of research and a lot of passion for good cashmere, Frances Austen was born.
Margaret carefully selected and built a relationship with Johnstons of Elgin, our manufacturer, who craft garments for some of the most prominent fashion houses in the world (yes, you’d recognize the names). They, along with Cariaggi (our premier cashmere yarn supplier), agreed to work with Margaret in a new way, crafting luxury sweaters that would otherwise retail for upwards of $1,000 – but delivering them at direct-to-consumer prices, because with us, there’s no middle man.
Margaret is also extremely passionate about elevating other female-run businesses. In her time as a founder herself, she’s been amazed to find such an incredibly supportive community among her peers; women who are working hard to solve big problems, are always willing to lend an ear, and are often raising a family at the same time. She’s become an investor in other female-run businesses, and truly believes that the companies women start will change the world. Margaret is a Chicago native living in San Francisco with her son, husband, and French bulldog, Ernestine.