Scottish firms are dressed to kilt as Old Firm tartans target US

NEW tartans designed for the Old Firm will be jointly promoted to a US audience next month as nine Scottish textile firms embark on a major promotional drive.

The new Celtic and Rangers plaids, which have been designed by Dundee-based MacNaughtons, will appear together on the catwalk of this year's Dressed to Kilt event in New York.

They are set to be showcased alongside other leading Scottish brands including Begg Scotland, Mackintosh Rainwear and Lochcarron of Scotland. Collectively, the nine firms generate annual sales of more than 30 million.

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The New York outing follows a successful run for the companies at the Dressed to Kilt event in LA Fashion Week last October.

Blair MacNaughton, managing director of MacNaughton Holdings, whose House of Edgar subsidiary created the Old Firm designs, said: "We've been keen to launch the Celtic and Rangers tartans in the North American market for some time as there has been a lot of interest in the tartans from both ex-pats and Americans who have Scottish connections.

"Dressed to Kilt is an ideal showcase for us to launch the new ranges and will increase our profile in what is an incredibly important market for us."

The company hopes that the new designs will catch the eye of some of America's leading buyers, designers and celebrities.

The US remains the single biggest export market for the Scottish textiles sector and a dedicated Scottish Enterprise team has been working closely with event organiser, Friends of Scotland.

An international element to this year's event will see products from top Italian designers, including Dolce & Gabbana and Valentino, being worn alongside those from the Scots firms.

Kirsty Scott, manager of SE's Scottish Textiles unit, said: "Dressed to Kilt has done a great job in promoting Scotland's brand image within the US.

"This year, though, we want to build on the success of our presence at the LA Fashion Week and ensure that participating companies are able to use the event as a springboard to achieving more sales in the US and build an international presence."

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Glaschu, Tartan Spirit and Morton Young & Borland are among the other exhibitors.