Madeleine Thompson’s luxury cashmere is the elevated wardrobe essential we can’t get enough of.
Having grown up in London and now based in Hong Kong, Madeleine melds her experiences from both ends of the globe into a her designs. Her aesthetic – contemporary shapes and a fearless approach to pattern and colour: “I remember being on a river boat in Bangkok and there was a mustard yellow flag and I thought it was so chic I immediately added that colour to my RE21 collection.”
Having studied law, then carving out a career in fashion PR, Madeleine was equipped with the foundations to start her own eponymous line; initially with a slouchy cashmere beanie hat (worn by style mavens like Kate Moss and Sienna Miller) before expanding into minimalist pared-back classics every woman wants. “I think the cashmere tracksuit is probably my signature – in all it’s different iterations over the years! It’s super chic and joyful and everyone always seems to love it in every collection.”
Travel is an intrinsic part of Madeleine’s brand: “I love it and always have. I learn so much from being outside my comfort zone and new experiences just ignite my creativity. I always shoot the collection in LA and am constantly looking at colour and how it is combined and used in different cities that I visit.”
Equipped with her cashmere wrap, and an array of literature, we delve into Madeleine Thompson’s travel psyche.
What is the first trip you remember taking?
We used to go to Hawaii as a family and I have a memory of running down a grassy hill; there were fresh limes everywhere.
What’s been your most memorable trip and why?
I think when Josh, my husband, took me to Kenya to propose! I hadn’t ever been on safari before, so it literally blew my mind, seeing all the animals and staying in the bush.
Where or what is your escape?
Reading. I’m a real book worm.
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If you could go anywhere tomorrow it would be…
What’s your idea of a luxury holiday?
I will take anything at this point! Honestly though, I do love all travel. My favourite trip a couple of years ago was popping to Rome, which is just the most stunning city. We walked and walked through the city and ate in amazing restaurants every night. That was pure bliss. A chic city break is pretty perfect.
Where do you get your holiday inspiration?
My top bucket list destination is…
I think Norway to see the Northern Lights with the children. It’s hard to choose but that is a once in a lifetime trip, I think.
If you could sit next to anyone – dead or alive – on a long-haul flight, who would it be?
Oooo good question – David Bowie!
What’s on your travel playlist?
I would have a selection of Berlin DJs on sound cloud for party times, and then some 70s classics : Fleetwood Mac, The Byrds, Bob Dylan, and Neil Young.
What is your favourite ever hotel?
Amanpuri Phuket is the forever classic that gets everything spot on.
How do you switch off?
It takes me a few days. I think losing the phone addiction is important.
What is your number one packing tip?
I literally am the worst and best packer: I very rarely forget anything, but that’s because I bring everything! There’s no light packing in this family.
Who is your favourite travel companion?
What is your most treasured purchase from your travels?
I love to buy semi-precious stone eggs from my travels, and I have them all in a bowl at home. I remember where each one is from and they’re amazing memories.
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What are your jet lag recovery tips?
Exercise on the day you arrive. No matter what the weather is like, just get out there for a run and get the blood going. Then stay up as late as you can that day. And don’t take your children with you (ha!)
Where is home and what are your must-do’s for any tourists visiting?
What item of clothing/accessory is a suitcase stalwart?
First thing that comes to your mind?
Something to read and ear plugs.
Packing: roll or fold?
Inflight book or inflight film?
Music or podcasts?
Holiday tipple of choice?
Best shopping gem found abroad?
Principe in Florence.
Beach or City Break?
Ultimate holiday treat?
No kids! (But only for a couple of days)