Now and Then: How Pringle of Scotland Are Re-Appropriating Their Archives For The Future
Pringle of Scotland Reissued collection, photographed by Joshua Gordon
On my walk home each day I pass a corner shop which is plastered with advertisements that rotate on a regular basis. One week a festival line-up, the next adorned with giant cartons of oat milk. Whatever’s being flogged at that given moment isn’t the sort of thing that makes you stop in your tracks and take a closer gander. That was until around a month ago when a selection of portraits cropped up. Jess Maybury, Lucien Clarke, and Lennon Gallagher– each found a home on the place I dash to when I’m out of toilet roll or craving Prawn Cocktail crisps. Photographed by Joshua Gordon and under the creative direction of Ben Reardon, the raw portraits present what looks like a campaign for an emerging London it brand. But who knew – it’s actually advertising the latest collection of a 200-year-old brand, as Pringle of Scotland and their rich heritage make their return.
The ads marked the first volume release of Pringle of Scotland’s Reissued collection, an on-going capsule that’s reviving a selection of the brand’s most-loved styles pulled straight from the 1980s. “I think [the Archive collection] plays into a type of nostalgia,” says Fran Stringer, Pringle’s women’s design director. “I grew up with two brothers who wore their Pringle proudly, all matching with their mates. It was a mark of your tribe, especially when you lived in the North-East where the London trends weren’t so accessible in the 1980s. Pringle was the uniform.” The brand’s heritage knitwear had a particular resurgence through last year’s collaboration with H&M and that glories sense of pride when donning a Pringle knit has been picked up by Palace also, who’s releasing a mint green Pringle cardi covered in Blackletter Palace logo placement as part of their SS20 collection.
Pringle of Scotland Repurposed collection, photographed by Joshua Gordon
Pringle of Scotland are constantly striving to use their archive in the most innovative ways possible, like the Repurposed collection, which reworks deadstock knits into one-off pieces, sold exclusively at LN-CC. “Pringle has long had a history of connecting with young generations who challenge the codes – whether that’s fashion, politics, or wider social values,” explains Stringer. “LN-CC has a reputation for challenging core fashion and luxury values and their new, younger customers respect authentic stories and brands who have a genuine idea or set of values.”
Divided into four narratives: Argyle, Heritage, Fair-isle and Retro, the collection sees clashing scraps of fabric transformed into one-of-a-kind gems, made by hand. “Pringle has long supported a more mindful approach to making, and has always celebrated the timeless appeal of wool,” says Stringer. As part of the design process we often reference classic knitwear, perhaps an arran cable knit, a fisherman’s guernsey, or the famous fair-isle. This inspired the idea of using old garments and reimagining them as something brand new – something to be loved all over again.”
The brand isn’t a lone soldier when it comes to finding interesting ways of bringing back old favourites. Back in 2016, Aquascutum leant their synonymous club check pattern to a selection of cracking outerwear numbers released through Supreme’s SS16 collection, which included a Harrington jacket and a waterproof utility vest. Who would’ve thought, the same brand who was dressing British soldiers during the second world war would go onto clad the hypebeasts of Soho?
In a similar vein, Fred Perry has invited the likes of Raf Simons, Comme des Garçons and most recently Nicholas Daley, to offer contemporary interpretations of some of their most classic additions, from their M12 shirt to a re-imagining of the barrel bag. If you’re in doubt that the kids of today are eager for a slice of the past, just look at Burberry, who under the creative direction of Riccardo Tisci has re-energised the nova check print to become a go-to favourite for anyone from Billie Eeilish to Bella Hadid.
“I think many people feel the same – we have so many customers who love the archive styles because it reminds them of their youth, and then their children who after the ‘old-school’ look,” says Stringer. We’re officially in the age where dad and lads are not only sharing their barber, but now their wardrobe too.
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