In 2009, Pringle of Scotland commissioned artist David Shrigley to create a humorous short animated film about life behind-the-scenes at Pringle to celebrate its return to Milan Fashion Week. The animation below was showcased during Pringle of Scotland’s menswear show in Milan in January 2010 — it’s an amusing take on the making of jumpers and cardigans over the past 195 year history of the famous Scottish brand.
WATCH THE ANIMATED SHORT
A BIT OF HISTORY
Robert Pringle established ‘Pringle of Scotland’ in 1815 in the Scottish Borders. It grew to become an iconic brand and the birthplace of the Scottish knitwear industry.
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.
QUOTE FROM: Ehrlich, Doreen; James, Owen. “Pringle of Scotland.” Contemporary Fashion. 2002.
Many Scottish crafts families worked for generations in the Pringle mills and a substantial investment program resulted in these factories being equipped with the latest state of the art technology and machinery, employing thousands and ranking with the most up-to-date production units in Scotland. Some of the finest fibers in the world were used, including cashmere from the mountains of East Asia, lambswool and the best quality Geelong from Australia, and the native Scottish wools, such as those from the Shetland Isles.
In 1967, ‘Pringle of Scotland’ was acquired by Joseph Dawson (Holdings) Limited, who were later renamed Dawson International Plc. The company pursued an international expansion program in the early 1990s; however, they were forced to cut back on many stores and franchisees due to their overly rapid expansion strategy.
Throughout the 1980s and 90s 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 80’s 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 £6 million by Hong Kong-based S.C. Fang & Sons Company, Ltd.
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.
Source: YouTube, Wikipedia, Encyclopedia, Pringle