The Inside Track on Walker Slater

Can you tell us a little about Walker Slater’s overall offer and what the brand stands for?

We are tweed specialists presenting ready-to-wear tailoring as the central part of our offering (made-to-measure is offered, also), with a range of flattering suit styles that appeal to a wide demographic and range of social settings, such as for weddings and business. To sit alongside it, there’s a comprehensive offering of lifestyle garments – from outerwear, shirts, knitwear, denim and silk accessories – for both men and women. 

Our vision is to elevate the perception of Scottish fashion on the world stage through honourable ethics, sustainable practices, natural materials and timeless design.

You are known for being a contemporary tweed brand, but there is clearly more to it, can you give us a bigger picture?

Heritage design is appreciated by us and we pay respect to the principles throughout our collections. Representing these styles in a modern way is important to us and we want to make sure they are presented in as more relevant for our time.

In 2017 we launched a new line called Messrs, which aimed to appeal to a younger, more dynamic audience and was a huge success for us. This influence and understanding of slimmer cuts and eclectic fabrics keep our collections refreshed and provide a balanced range of options that reflect our customer’s taste.

You have a great collection of accessories and knitwear. How do decide on what pieces to sell and where are they designed/made?

A fundamental area of the business is working in close proximity with a range suppliers and mills, most notably the world-renowned Harris Tweed Hebrides. We work closely with artisanal partners to create a range of exclusive accessories and knitwear. An important principle of ours is to support and promote the lesser-known mills in The Borders, as well as specialist partners in Italy and beyond.

How influential or important is the casual elements to the Walker Slater brand?

The company roots stem from the highlands supplying communities with hard wearing classic clothing for years. As a result we became passionate for a range of garments that can be worn casually while adding our signature style. For example, we recently made a Harris tweed overshirt lined inside with our house tartan. It gives the customer that Scottish connection while owning a lifetime piece they know is made with quality.

Do you still do denim?

We do and it is regularly featured as part of our casual offering. When we do release them we make sure to use top quality and highly rated denims.

What makes the perfect casual outerwear jacket?

We want the garment to represent you, to feel comfortable and effortless to wear. We recently made a jacket with patch pockets and single button for our SS24 collection in linen, this can be worn with jeans or chinos and remains timeless.

What inspires you design-wise – Japan? Traditional English – a mix of lots of things?

As a result of the fortune of being from Scotland, the palettes of our collections are inspired by its natural beauty. Traditional British tailoring provide an endless source of references that we can reimagine to the modern world. Italian fashion has influenced the range of styles we offer and we share an appreciation with Japan for traditional craft and textiles.

What are your favourite casual pieces that Waker Slater sells and why?

I like to wear our casual pieces quite often, I am wearing our Craig overshirt made with a tartan patterned tweed. It feels Scottish but an easy layer for being out and about.

There’s a really cool fusion of old meets new, such as the recent Macian wax coat – like a new-take on the traditional Barbour –  can you divulge more about bringing a traditional look to a relevant platform for today?

Again its about finding a way to make the garment relevant for todays fast changing world. The British Milleran wax has an incredibe history and unique properties. When paired with a more tailored fit, cord collar and tartan lining there you have a Walker Slater twist.

Do you think the younger customer today is more savvy about mixing and matching brands and pieces to create their own looks? Why do you think this is?

Certainly the younger customer is passionate about educating themselves with brand identities that align with theirs and want to enjoy exploring how to empower their individualism through the mix and match of different pieces. The big influence of our time is our community and how connections we can make can be done instantly across the world, for example social media – it is easier than ever to freely express your individualistic taste with the world  and celebrate it together.

What’s coming up for Walker Slater?

We have been releasing special casual pieces through our Spey-Dam Ranger collection inspired by our highland roots, there is more coming in the near future and series of exciting new products in tailoring for both Men and Women.

Mark Smith

I had pizza for tea.

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