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.In the U.S., Pringle has a showroom in Manhattan, and sells at Bloomingdale's, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Marshall Field's and Fred Segal.
Pringle executives are hunting for a space in Manhattan for the brand's first U.S. stand-alone store. In Russia, Pringle sells at Mercury, Podium and U.K. Style, and the brand also is looking to open its first stand-alone store in Moscow
Founded in 1815 by Robert Pringle, the company began as a manufacturer of hosiery and underwear, and developed as one of the first luxury knitwear manufacturers in the world. In March 2000, Hong Kong-based S.C. Fang & Sons purchased the company and set about relaunching the brand.
Keller was most recently a senior women's wear designer at Gucci, and had worked under former creative director Ford. Before joining Gucci, she was design director for Ralph Lauren's Purple Label men's line. Her first job was as a women's wear designer for Calvin Klein.
Keller isn't the only new name at Pringle.
The company announced this month that it created a separate accessories division, and named Simona Ciacchi, another Gucci veteran, chief designer. Ciacchi, who already has begun working, reports to Keller.
Ciacchi, 33, who has worked in the accessories divisions of Tod's, Giorgio Armani and Marc Jacobs, was most recently senior designer of accessories at Gucci. She divides her time between London and Florence, and her first task is to create a line of luxury leather goods for the brand.
"Until now, our accessories have been quirky and one-off — like the PVC bowling bag — and they were created by the design team," said a Pringle spokeswoman. "Simona is here to create luxury, trophy leather goods. Her first collection will be for fall 2006."
Pringle principals also are mulling possible licenses for other accessories categories including footwear and fragrances.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews