Lovat, The Home of Fine Tweed
t’s no boast to say that Hawick – a historical town near the Scottish borders – is as integral to fashion history as the Place Vendôme or Savile Row, and as synonymous with a certain pride and heritage. The region has produced peerless fabrics, from tweeds to cashmeres and every weight of wool in-between for centuries, but today, only the stately Lovat Mill remains. Its solitary position as a standard bearer of the art of beautifully crafted materials is a triumph, having produced some of Britain’s best textiles since the late 1800s.
The mill works with a vast variety of cloths but all suppliers are UK-based; from wool sourced in the far northern point of Sandwick in Shetland, to cashmere from Kinross and yarn from a spinning company in Yorkshire. It’s a network that is particularly pertinent in today’s environment.
Lovat's prominence – the 21-strong team craft tweeds for global mega-brands such as Chanel and Ralph Lauren – prompted British designer Sir Paul Smith to approach the mill’s specialists to create cloth for a selection of suits in his recent men’s collection. And it is for that reason why we at Studio 104 thought it absolutely right to partner Lovat on our project with the legendary Gleneagles.
When it first opened its doors in 1924, this magnificent countryside estate in the heart of Scotland was described as the “Riviera in the Highlands”. Today, as a member of ‘The Leading Hotels of the World’, its new multimillion makeover captures everything that makes Gleneagles so special but with an added sense of style.
Our task was to translate this new identity into bespoke uniform designs to continue its distinctive story. We were initially inspired by the highland landscape and its outdoor pursuits. We began with revisiting the golden age of travelling aboard the Flying Scotsman in style and comfort to the palace of the Glens.
Our ambition, to capture the era and contrasts of luxury travel mixed with the glamour and fun of the 1920’s.
What we have created for Gleneagles is an elegant and timeless collection, inspired by all the wonder of the Scottish highlands. Building a confidence in the staff and a sense of pride in the hotels rich heritage and future prosperity.
A particularly fitting partnership, it has been a great pleasure to showcase the best of Scottish craftsmanship, exemplified by Lovat. Who tirelessly explored how to fabricate a range of contemporary tweeds that retain the colour, tonal texture and richness of traditional cloth whilst being suitable for luxury hotel uniforms. Long may the mill continue to innovate, keep a tradition alive and prosper.