The international reputation of Scotland's fashion industry is, by no means, a recent development.
From our traditional Highland dress - the kilt - which dates back to the 16th century, to the contemporary designers currently gracing the catwalks and glossy pages of fashion magazines, Scottish fashion has enviable credentials. Scotland exports to more than 150 countries worldwide, and has a bright future – underpinned by the quality, diversity, innovation and design of Scottish fashion.
Scotland's textile industry boasts an enviable client list which includes Chanel, Hermés, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Ralph Lauren, Donna Karen and YSL, as well as Boeing, BMW, Alfa Romeo, Jaguar, Emirates Airlines and British Airways.
Harris Tweed, the only fabric in the world governed by its own Act of Parliament, celebrated its centenary year in 2011. The cloth is woven only in the Outer Hebrides by crofters in their own homes, using methods that are centuries old. It's widely sold in the UK and exported to more than 50 countries around the world. Recently, sales of Harris Tweed have soared and the total production has reached more than a million metres of cloth a year.
With craftsmanship perfected over 300 years, Scottish cashmere is another guarantee of quality. Only one mill in Britain carries out the entire cashmere weaving process from raw fibre to finished garment and that mill is located in the Scottish Highlands. Produced since the 18th century, cashmere is, for many, the last word in luxury. Scottish cashmere is supplied to some of the world's most prestigious fashion houses including Chanel, Prada, Louis Vuitton and Burberry.
Scotland is also home to some of the world leaders in medical and performance textiles with the presence of Ahlstrom, WL Gore, and DuPont., all based in Scotland.
World-renowned and critically-acclaimed Scottish fashion designers include:
Christopher studied at Central Saint Martins for six years. He interned with Giles Deacon and Russell Sage, and was hired by Versace to work on the label's Atelier couture before setting up his own label after he graduated. His designs are sold in some of the most prestigious boutiques in the UK and around the world. He has also created a capsule collection for Topshop, collaborated with Beth Ditto for Swarovskia's Fashion Rocks and has designed costumes for Kylie Minogue. Kane has also been credited for turning around the fortunes of cashmere producer Johnstons of Elgin by partnering with the company to produce his own line of cashmere garments.
Born in the city of Dundee, a UNESCO City of Design, it was perhaps inevitable that Brian Rennie would go on to be a fashion designer for Hollywood’s elite. Brian graduated from The Royal College of Art in 1986 and immediately joined Escada in Germany, where he quickly became Creative Director. Brian has produced designs for huge companies including Gant and Barbour, but is perhaps best known for dressing a number of Hollywood stars. As well as designing wedding dresses for Jennifer Lopez and Angela Basset, Brian’s designs have graced many awards red carpets, including The Oscars.
Print designer Jonathan graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 1999, before going on to graduate from Central Saint Martins with an MA in Printed Textiles. Awards include the Fashion Enterprise Award from the British Fashion Council in 2006, Elle Style Awards – Designer of the Year in 2007 and British Designer of the Year in 2012. He coordinates designing his own label alongside his position as creative Director for Pollini. Collaborations include collections for Topshop and American brand Target.
Hailing from the east end of Glasgow, Graeme graduated with an MA in Womenswear from Central Saint Martins, and with many seasons at Alexander McQueen under his belt, he was personally selected to meet Phoebe Philo in a competition for French fashion house Chloe and gained much hype from his uber modern final collection. In 2009 he set up his own label.
Graeme graduated in Fashion at Edinburgh University and began his career as Assistant Designer working for John Galliano and Zandra Rhodes amongst others. He moved to Italy in 1993 and worked as a designer with Les Copains before joining Giorgio Armani in 1995. He quickly rose through the ranks there to become Head Designer at Borgonuovo Black Label. In 2003, he became Head of Womenswear for Ferragamo. In 2005 he launched the first Graeme Black collection.
Born in Edinburgh, Holly studied at Edinburgh College of Art and The Royal College of Art. Holly won the Swarovski Emerging Talent Award for Accessories at the British Fashion Awards 2009 and the British Fashion Council /ELLE Talent Launch Pad award in 2010. Following the success of London Fashion Week, Holly continues to make waves with her contemporary and luxurious, geometric, crystal and perspex encrusted take on fashion.
Born in Fraserburgh, Louise studied at The Glasgow School of Art in Textile Design and Central Saint Martins, where she completed her MA. Louise has collaborated with Topshop for make-up and clothing lines, The Victoria and Albert Museum, Nicholas Kirkwood, Pollini, Cotton USA, Judy Blame, ASOS.com and Nasir Mashar.
Want to study fashion in Scotland? Visit Studyinscotland.org for more info.