{case value="case-studies"} {/case} {case value="news"} Bruce Gillingham Pollard - {/case} {/exp:switchee}

The Tailor Retailored

Few things can be more luxurious than cashmere. The Tailor Retailored’s aim is simple - to redefine men's cashmere knitwear.

Headed up by John MacEwan and Richard Olive, using their fashion, marketing, design and cashmere production experience.

John MacEwan, interviewed by Tracey Pollard

The growth in menswear has been massive over recent years. Why?

The world's attitudes towards masculinity have really progressed. The idea of the proper ‘man’ is more relaxed, less defined, less restricted.  It is not only socially acceptable but desirable for men to care about (and spend money on) their personal appearance. Men are more interested in investing in themselves whether it is a new piece of technology, an item of clothing or a grooming product. We are paying attention to fashion and the ongoing proliferation of menswear bloggers, social media and style sites, means today’s man is exposed to fashion and style without having to dig deep. Combine this changing zeitgeist with the rise of e-commerce, it reduces friction for male shoppers. Us men are adversed to time-consuming shopping trips - add in large disposable incomes, globally, men’s annual disposable income is still 50 percent higher than women’s - then it’s not hard to see the opportunity.

The product is beautifully designed how do you ensure consistency as you grow the brand?

Quality and integrity are at the very heart our brand, luckily the level of technical skill and design talent on our doorstep here in Scotland and across UK is massive. We’re passionate about buying British and committed to doing so and by keeping the design and manufacture process close to home we’re able to maintain control.

The business started life on the internet, does the internet make it easier for new brands to develop due to limitless exposure or is it harder as there is no room for mistakes?

The internet got us live and to market, but we see bridging the online and offline gap as a necessary next step for us to drive forward in today’s market. Our product benefits from being touched - it’s cashmere after all.  In menswear, particularly, pop-ups are the perfect avenue to gain product exposure, understand and connect with new customers, then if they like what they see and feel, they can engage forward with the brand digitally, buy and re-buy online.

You've opened your first pop up last summer, what was the most challenging element of creating such a short-term venue?

As a small brand, money!  The space we identified was perfect but pretty derelict and we wanted an ‘on-brand space’ and for a limited time - so there’s the challenge. We had to get creative.

Will there be more?

Definitely, we kept it local for the first, because of the heritage of Scottish cashmere and resources, but we need to pop up in fashion capitals.  Next will be London, ideally in one of the developing ‘fashion villages’, where there are like-minded brands and style conscious gents!  Oh and if anybody has a space in one of the hip ski resorts during the season - we’d go for that!

Your one piece of advice for anyone considering starting a high-end fashion brand?

Passion, drive and creativity are great for starting a business but a long-term strategy, clear planning and yearly goals will take you forward.