28 July 2016 16:30:00
Pringle of Scotland: the Scottish pearl
History of the brand having reversed our views of cashmere and knitwear
As the name implies, Scotland is an essential part of the brand aesthetics. Founded in 1815, the company has seen numerous ups and downs for more than 200 years of its history. And since we talk about the brand today, obviously, Pringle of Scotland is in its another prime. Though, let us start from the top to gain a greater understanding of the brand’s nature and the reason for its longevity.
Century of preparations
Robert Pringle went into business alone, so the products were familiar, reliable, and steady as much as possible. Woolen socks and stockings at first, knitwear later on, while in 1870 Pringle of Scotland started producing cashmere, taking the lead of premium hosiery production. Steadiness proved to be the strong point of the company, as Pringle of Scotland decided to expand fully the product line in as early as 1905, adding men and women outerwear. This was one of the decisive moves, which made the company that what it is today.
Contribution not to be overestimated
Hired in 1935, the designer Otto Weisz truly pioneered the fashion industry, creating the famous twinset of lightweight pullover and cardigan. The popularity of the set defied all the expectations leaving the Scottish style imprint all over the world forever. Later on, the success allowed Pringle of Scotland to become the official supplier of golfing garments for the Royal family. One can call the 50-s the golden decade of the brand, as this particular period the Scottish influence expanded to Hollywood, then from Hollywood – to the thousands of Americans.
Another equally important innovation Otto implied was the traditional “Argyle” pattern consisting of diamonds, that everyone is familiar with today. In fact, Otto did not invent the pattern, but recovered it from the archives – the print had been applied only to socks before. In 1956, at the peak pf its fame, Pringle of Scotland was granted the most significant award – the Royal warrant for the production of the best woolen and cashmere garments.
The new chapter began in 1967, when the Joseph Dawson Limited holding acquired the brand. At first, the business of Pringle of Scotland was looking pretty well, but the following decisions turned the run of good luck bad. One of those decisions was the attempt of refocusing on sport, golf in particular. Sponsorship of the most renowned players including Nick Faldo and Colin Montgomerie, actually breathed a new life into the company, making Pringle of Scotland popular not only among golf players, but among football hooligans as well, although that wasn’t enough. The attempt of shops and franchise quick expansion in the 90-s drove the company into debts, forcing to slash the newly launched outlets.
Correction of mistakes
In the 00-s, the Hong Kong S.C. Fang & Sons Company bought out Pringle of Scotland for six million pounds, even though the losses reached more than four million pounds a year. In order to restore passed glory, the company fell to change the production line redirecting several processes to Asia, yet preserving the quality the garments were valued on. Kim Winser, the new director, set the course for renovating the design, yet upholding the luxury status.
Over the past decade, Pringle of Scotland has restored almost everything that the brand followers appreciate it for. These are not just traditional silhouettes and diamond patterns, but strong focus on collaborations with the renowned actors, photographs, and designers. Celebrating its bicentenary in 2015, Pringle of Scotland has proved once more that the principles Robert Pringle set in 1815, have not disappeared. Today, the brand with the richest history in the world is still taking the lead of both quality and style, and innovations.
You can always have a look at the Pringle of Scotland selection at our store.