LONDON — Pringle of Scotland is getting a fresh injection of talent.
The knitwear and ready-to-wear brand has named Clare Waight Keller, who worked under Tom Ford at Gucci, to be creative director.
Keller, 34, will oversee the design of Pringle's women's, men's and accessories collections as well as all aspects of the Pringle brand image, including shop design, packaging and advertising.
"It was a tall order and we filled it," chief executive officer Kim Winser said in an interview. "We wanted someone with experience in both men's and women's fashion who was also passionate about knitwear. On top of that, [he or she] had to have experience in both Europe and America."
Creative director is a new position at the company. Stuart Stockdale stepped down in May as the company's head of design, overseeing the clothing collections.
"It is now very important for the company to have one creative voice," Winser said. "Clare is the perfect person for that role." Winser added that Keller's first collection will bow for fall 2006. Stockdale's final collection is for spring 2006.
Pringle will not stage a runway show in Milan in the fall, but instead will hold an event to mark the company's 190th anniversary.
Keller, who will report to Winser, said in an interview she was gearing up for the challenge.
"Although Pringle has raised its profile over the past few years, it still has huge potential," she said. "Now is the moment to take it into the next era. I cannot wait to immerse myself in the company archives in Scotland, and I am passionate about knitwear — I will really develop that part of the business."
Since Winser took over in March 2000, Pringle has gone from a clothing rack of cashmere knitwear to a full luxury collection and has established itself in the U.K. and other European and Asian markets. It is rapidly expanding its business in the U.S. and Russia. Pringle is privately owned and does not release sales or profit figures. The company's clothing and knitwear is sold alongside other European designer lines with similar pricing.
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