"I still have my old Go-Go sweater!" customers will often exclaim to Canadian mother-daughter duo Lynne and Southorn Godfrey.
For the uninitiated, what they're referring to are the cheeky cult-favorite sweaters designed by Lynne in the '80s -- enormous shoulder-padded confections featuring funny slogans and symbols. "She once made a collection inspired by David Bowie with tons of repeated patterns," says her daughter Southorn. "People always keep their Go-Go sweaters."
Since then, the legendary Go-Go sweaters have become part of Southorn's umbrella fashion brand, Lilly Lab. "I became involved [in my mother's company] three years ago. I wanted to do more. The concept for an umbrella brand came about over an Italian lunch one day; We named the company after my grandmother, Lilly."
While you won't find any shoulder pads in the new, revamped Go-Go sweaters, the mood of the knitwear remains more or less consistent with Lynne's original vision. "Knits will always be a huge focus for us," says Southorn, For fall 2011, cowboys and the occasional hot pink heart motif enlivened zip-front hoodie sweaters, turtleneck dresses and chunky shawl-collar shapes.
"Our knits are all 100 percent pure Canadian wool, and the process [of making the sweaters] is completely environmentally friendly," says Southorn, who claims "keeping it local" remains a priority for she and her mother.
Asked how she continues to come up with her cool knitwear concepts after almost three decades in the business, Lynne is poetic about her inspiration sources. "I live in the future most of the time," she says. "I find it the most interesting place to be."