Thursday, November 11, 2010

Collaborating with Harris Tweed

Following on from lengthy visual love letter to Harris Tweed I wanted to ponder the future of the Champagne of fabrics. For me, the second collaboration with Nike merely scratches the surface of possibilities for this fabric. Having well and truly fallen for this special textile I began to ask myself what more could be done to continue its revival. I asked this very question to the director of the BBC4 series Tweed, Ian Denver, last year. His response still rings true...

Interestingly, this season sees another intriguing collaboration with the iconic 'Orb'. Harris Tweed Hebrides, the Shawbost-based company who I visited earlier this week have recently welcomed a major collaboration with high street powerhouse, Topman. The award winning company have been working closely with Topman's design team over the past year or so to create a stunning new men’s range, which extends from gloves and bow-ties to coats, trousers and jackets. The choice of tweed and the cut on the designs are exquisite and will no doubt attract a new audience. The fact that Topman are promoting the range on their US web-site as well as the UK one is great news for the fabric.

Collaboration will undoubtedly play its part in the continued revival of Harris Tweed. This season also sees Fred Perry, The North Face Purple Label and Norse Projects use the fabric in their collections. Now that you've seen exactly what makes Harris Tweed so very special, how would you like to see it used in the future? I'd like to see everyone from ASOS to Nigel Cabourn and Bill Amberg to Lou Dalton experiment with it. Which high street brands and designers would you like to see elevate this fabric further?

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