Pringle of Scotland
|Headquarters||Edinburgh, Scotland, UK|
(Womenswear Design Director)
(Menswear Design Director)
Pringle of Scotland is a fashion brand renowned for luxury cashmere knitwear and holds the royal warrant as manufacturers of knitted garments. It is one of the world’s oldest continually operating fashion companies. The company has its flagship stores in London's Mount Street, Glasgow and Shanghai and is sold by retailers in 15 countries.
Robert Pringle established Pringle of Scotland in 1815 in the Scottish Borders. Initially the company simply produced hosiery and underwear, and have been producing cashmere since as early as 1870. Otto Weisz was appointed as the first full-time designer in the knitwear industry in 1934. The twinset and the ancient-Scottish Argyle adapted pattern were designed under Weisz's creative direction, which became very popular with several celebrities and screen stars including Jean Simmons, Brigitte Bardot and Grace Kelly.
In 1967, Pringle of Scotland was acquired by Joseph Dawson (Holdings) Limited, who were later renamed Dawson International Plc. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s leisure and sportswear played a key role within the Pringle of Scotland brand with top British golf players including Nick Faldo and Colin Montgomerie being sponsored by the group. It was during the early to mid 1980s that Pringle become a household name on the football terraces and still holds a nostalgic place in the heart of the casual movement.
In 2000, the brand which was losing around £4.5m per annum was bought for £6m by Hong Kong-based S.C. Fang & Sons Company, Ltd. This marked the end of production at the factory in Hawick and manufacture in Scotland, with all manufacturing outsourced to Fang's third-party suppliers in Asia. Pringle still has headquarters in Hawick, Scotland and a flagship store in Glasgow, and produces some of its limited editions in Scotland, but much of the work now takes place in Italy.
Despite its slightly vulnerable position, Pringle gained a fresh lease of life in the new millennium, under the leadership of newly appointed chief executive Kim Winser formerly of Marks & Spencer. A brand vision and strategy was put in place to re-establish it as an international luxury fashion retailer. Winser and Stuart Stockdale led the company's efforts to return to the high-fashion status it had formerly enjoyed, exhibiting at London Fashion Week with new designs based on the company's trademark twinset and Argyle pattern.
In 2005, both Winser and Stockdale left the company, and having so far invested over £35m Kenneth Fang handed over control to his children, Jean and Douglas Fang. By this stage sales had risen to almost £25m with losses running at around £8m due to the expansion.
After Claire Waight Keller was appointed the new Creative Director, 2007 saw the introduction of a luxury accessories range. In March 2011 ex-Balenciaga designer Alistair Carr was named as Design Director following the resignation of Claire Waight Keller.
Massimo Nicosia is the company’s Menswear Design Director since 2012 and Fran Stringer was announced as the Womenswear Director in 2016. The Pringle of Scotland Autumn Winter 2016-17 campaign was shot by photographer Harley Weir and art directed by Christopher Simmonds in Scotland.
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- Elizabeth, Nichols (10 April 2015). "A Dance Takes Shape From Pringle of Scotland's Archives". The New York Times Style Magazine.
- Barty-King, Hugh (2006). Pringle of Scotland: and the Hawick Knitwear Story. Quiller Press.
- "The lion prepares to roar". Drapers Record. 2 April 2001.
- Mills, Lauren (25 August 2005). "Winser's grand designs for the Pringle empire". The Daily Mail.
- "Pringle designer leaves". Vogue. 11 May 2005.
- "Winser to walk away from Pringle". The Scotsman. 23 November 2005.
- "Pringle rocked by loss of design chief". The Scotsman. 12 May 2005.
- "Is Pringle the new Gucci?". Vogue. 28 July 2005.
- Banks, Libby (1 December 2014). "Pringle of Scotland, a Heritage Brand Modernized in 3-D". The New York Times.
- Massimiliano, Sortino (9 February 2016). "Pringle of Scotland: here comes Fran Stringer". Vogue Italy.
- Matthew, Wright (28 August 2016). "Get ready for the world's most unlikely supermodels: An entire family of red heads from the Scottish Highlands are taking the fashion magazines by storm". Daily Mail.