Scotland has not only produced but inspired many top fashion designers.
We present 10 people inspired by, or from, our shores, who have made their impact on the world of fashion.
1. Dame Vivienne Westwood
It could be argued that no one fashion designer has done more for Scottish textiles over the years than this grand dame of the industry. Westwood has championed the use of tartan in her designs since the punk era of the 1970s. She has even created her own tartans and uses them in her current collections. Supermodel Naomi Campbell famously fell off her gargantuan platform shoes while modelling Westwood’s heavily tartan-influenced Anglomania collection in 1993.
2. Coco Chanel
French fashion house Chanel is renowned for its use of tweed, tartan and Fair Isle knits. This homage to Scotland’s fabrics began with Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel. The founder of the brand spent a great deal of time in Sutherland in the 1920s on the estate of her lover, the Duke of Westminster. An obsessive salmon angler, she fell in love with the Highlands’ fabrics and decorated Rosehall, the Duke’s mansion, in tweed and tartan. She also made tweed a must-have for every chic Parisian woman’s wardrobe.
3. Stella McCartney
Spending much of her childhood living on a farm on the Mull of Kintyre has undoubtedly infl uenced the designs of one of the UK’s hottest designers. Tartan and tweed feature heavily in her collections to this day. Stella is the daughter of Paul McCartney, The Beatles’ singer who famously raised his family on High Park Farm near Campbeltown. Her love for Scotland has endured and in 2003 she married Alasdhair Wills, Creative Director for Scottish heritage brand Hunter, at Mount Stuart on the Isle of Bute.
4. Stuart Trevor
Born and raised in Dundee, Stuart Trevor rose to fame as the head of Menswear at Reiss. In 1994, he founded AllSaints and has since gone on to found fashion label Bolongaro Trevor with his wife Kait Bolongaro. The brand is based in London’s East End and boasts an impressive celebrity following that includes Gwen Stefani, Liam Gallagher, Helena Bonham Carter and The Who.
5. Jean Muir
Muir was born in London in 1928 to Aberdonian parents. It is said her natural talent with textiles meant she could knit, embroider and sew by the time she was six. After working for Liberty and Jaeger, Muir set up her fi rst label Jane & Jane in 1962, followed by Jean Muir Ltd in 1966. In 1964, Muir won the fi rst of three Dress of the Year awards. Joanna Lumley was Muir’s first model, muse and later, close friend.
6. Christopher Kane
The dog-eared former mining village of Newarthill, near Motherwell, is an unlikely breeding ground for a top fashion designer, but Christopher Kane was born here in 1982, the youngest of five siblings. Kane won prizes for his designs from an early age. He is proud of his Scottish roots, has served as an ambassador for VisitScotland and designed a cashmere range for Johnstons of Elgin. He has also designed costumes for Kylie Minogue and collaborated with fashion giants Manolo Blahnik and Donatella Versace.
7. Michelle Mone
The founder of lingerie company Ultimo, Michelle Mone was born in the east end of Glasgow in 1971. She left school to embark on a modelling career at the age of 15. In August 1999 she launched her own lingerie company. Mone designed and created the Ultimo bra after wearing an uncomfortable cleavage-enhancing bra to an event. Her award-winning designs use silicone gel to give assets a boost while ensuring comfort.
8. Alexander McQueen
The one-time Givenchy head designer won four British Designer of the Year awards in his short lifetime. The visionary designer was the son of a taxi driver from the Isle of Skye and immensely proud of his Scottish roots. He wore the kilt at every possible opportunity and was fascinated by his Jacobite forebears. When he committed suicide in 2010 at the age of 40, his ashes were scattered on the Isle of Skye, as was his wish. He is pictured here with friend, actress Sarah Jessica Parker.
9. Jonathan Saunders
This Glaswegian designer is renowned for his prints, with celebrity fans including Madonna, Kylie Minogue, Sienna Miller and Michelle Obama. Saunders was named Scottish Fashion Designer of the Year at the Scottish Style Awards in 2005 and British Designer of the Year at the Elle Style Awards in 2008. He has also worked as a consultant for fashion houses Chloé, Pucci and Christian Lacroix.
10. John Boyd
Born in Edinburgh in 1925, John Boyd is credited with the resurrection of the hat in fashion. The 90-year-old milliner, who has designed hats for three generations of the Royal Family, hit the headlines when Diana, the future Princess of Wales, was photographed in a pink tricorn that Boyd had designed for her. Boyd’s apprenticeship was interrupted when he was conscripted for the Second World War . Boyd’s atelier is currently in Knightsbridge. His client list has included Princess Michael of Kent, Baroness Thatcher and Baroness Soames.