NEW YORK — Pringle of Scotland’s creative director, Clare Waight Keller, hopped the pond last week to make her first public appearance at Bergdorf Goodman.
And, judging from the speed in which the brand reached its goal for the three-day trunk show — mission accomplished at the end of day one — she was well received. To some degree, the 34-year-old Waight Keller, a stylish working woman, embodies just the type of customer the U.K.-based company is after. In her second year on board, Waight Keller has been instrumental in updating the 192-year-old label with modern touches. Testimony to that were the more directional pieces that were bestsellers at Bergdorf Goodman, namely a black hand-knit cashmere cable swing cardigan at $1,750, a gray jersey inside-out jacket with a mink collar at $1,990 and a tan wool trapeze coat with covered buttons at $1,890.
New York is not new territory for Waight Keller, who worked at Calvin Klein and later went to Ralph Lauren as senior designer for Purple Label men’s wear. In 2000, she joined Tom Ford at Gucci working beside Francisco Costa and Christopher Bailey. “I feel strongly about bringing my luxury experience to Pringle’s fashion heritage,” she said.
Pringle of Scotland hasn’t abandoned its intensive techniques — hand-knit sweaters require five days of work, Waight Keller said.
Last year, Pringle of Scotland executives decided to relaunch the brand’s women’s wear at Bergdorf’s. The women’s and men’s label is currently available in 33 doors in the U.S., with controlled growth being the key strategy, according to Karen Schneider, director of Pringle’s women’s wear and accessories. Like Waight Keller, she is well versed in the luxury world, having hailed from Wolford.
This story first appeared in the May 25, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.