SCOTS have always been globally minded, and as Holly Lennon discovers, it’s what drives the nation’s fashion designers to success
Born in North Lanarkshire, Christopher Kane has been a firm fashion favourite both on the catwalk and in the high street since he emerged onto the scene in 2006. Amongst his many accolades, Kane has twice been named Scottish designer or the year.
His first taste of recognition came in the form of the Harrods Design Award for his MA graduate collection, a collection which attracted the attention of Donatella Versace.
He then went on to produce his first show in 2006, and has since been a highly anticipated feature at London Fashion Week. Kane’s designs are synonymous with the bodycon trend that still remains evident in stores today. He has produced two collections for Topshop – one of which was the store’s largest ever designer collection – and a limited-edition jewellery range with Swarovski. Kane was instrumental in the relaunch of Versace’s label Versus, where he worked alongside Donatella Versace until 2012 to create a capsule collections of shoes, bags and jewellery.
The designer is a passionate promoter of Scotland, and has previously collaborated with Scottish cashmere brand Johnstons to create a lipgloss, aptly named Burns Night, with cosmetics brand Lancome.
Over the past decade, Glasgow native Jonathan Saunders has worked with some of the most iconic figures in fashion and received numerous accolades, including the British Fashion Council/ Vogue Fashion Fund and Designer of the Year at the Scottish Fashion Awards.
Saunders graduated from Glasgow’s School of Art in 1999 before going on to attend Central Saint Martins in London. He was commissioned to design prints for Alexander McQueen within 48 hours of his final MA collection.
His work, which has been showcased at both London and New York fashion weeks (as well as on the cover of Vogue), is known for its vibrant colours and graphic prints and has caught the eye of celebrities including Michelle Obama. In collaboration with Topshop, Saunders created four hugely successful collections between 2008 and 2010 before teaming up with British sportbrand Gola to design men’s and women’s casual shoes. His work, which is stocked in 30 countries worldwide, has also seen him collaborate with retailers like Target and Debenhams.
The Glaswegian’s collections of separates and wardrobe staples have gained him the admiration of industry leaders and fashion’s most renowned publications alike. In 2011, he was shortlisted for The Global Fashion Awards’ Most Influential Womenswear Designer in June 2011, alongside Burberry’s Christopher Bailey, Marc Jacobs, Miuccia Prada and Phoebe Philo of Celine.
Originally born in Edinburgh, Holly Fulton is famous for her bold prints and key shapes that have been appearing in the fashion world since 2007.
Her geometric designs and exciting prints have won her Young Designer of the Year, an Elle Style Award and the Swarovski Emerging Talent Award for Accessories at the British Fashion Awards.
As the British Fashion Council’s NEWGEN award winner in 2010, she was given access to industry mentors and financial backing for two seasons which saw her go on to becoming a Fashion Forward winner in 2013.
Her career has seen her collaborate with luxury leather label Radley, where she gave their dog mascot a makeover, and online retailer eBay, with whom she launched four limited-edition pieces for the website in the run up to London Fashion Week 2013.
Like many Scottish-born fashion designers, Graeme Armour grew up in awe of Glasgow’s Versace store. The Glasgow native started designing clothes at only six-years-old. Since his humble beginnings making dresses for Barbies, he has gone on to work on and off with Alexander McQueen as a stylist and designer.
He was recognised at the Scottish Fashion Awards 2008 where he was named Scottish Designer of the Year.
Armour’s work blurs the lines between modern and traditional using dark and dull colours as homage to his Scottish roots. Described as dystopian and post-apocalyptic by Elle, Armour’s work has already caught the attention of the likes of high-profile stylist Alistair McKimm.
Fraserburgh-born Glasgow School of Art and Central Saint Martins alumna Louise Gray founded her eponymous label in 2007. Her trademark vibrant mix of colours, prints and textures has allowed her to stand out from the crowd ever since.
Her work has received both international and mainstream acclaim and has allowed her to embark on successful collaborations with the likes of ASOS, Brora and Topshop make-up.
In 2010, she was chosen for a collaboration with Smiley Company where she created a five-piece collection. Her quirky designs featuring her beloved embroidery and print style have caught the attention of fashion experts across the country.
The fruits of her shoe collaboration with Pollini were worn by Emma Watson on the cover of Elle magazine.