LONDON — Pringle of Scotland and its design director, Alistair Carr, have parted ways after a little more than a year as the company continues to refocus the business.
This story first appeared in the April 26, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Jean Fang, Pringle’s chief executive officer and a member of the Hong Kong–based family that owns the brand, said the parting was amicable and that, going forward, the collection would be designed by the existing in-house team. She said Pringle plans to focus on seasonal presentations rather than runway shows, roll out smaller retail stores and emphasize core product, such as luxury cashmere and wool separates with a modern edge.
She called Carr’s departure “a mutual decision,” and said he would art direct the fall ad campaign and show his spring 2013 Pringle men’s wear collection in London in mid-June. Carr will also show the 2013 resort collection in New York on June 11, and will continue to work on the Pringle-sponsored exhibition “Princess Grace: More Than an Image,” at the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco.
“I want to thank Alistair for all his great efforts and contributions at Pringle. We will miss him, and we wish him all the best in his future endeavors,” she said.
Carr joined Pringle in March 2011, and his first collection was for spring 2012. He holds a master’s degree from Central Saint Martins and was previously a stylist at Balenciaga, where he worked on the runway collections. Carr also worked at Marni, Cacharel and Chloé, and he designed a signature label, which he showed during London Fashion Week. He succeeded Clare Waight Keller, Pringle’s creative director, who last year took up the post of creative director at Chloé.
Carr boosted Pringle’s profile internationally with his edgy collections and knitwear research, played with Pringle signatures such as the argyle knit, and worked pattern and texture into the collections, making wool look like astrakhan for the collar of a camel coat or weaving reflective yarns into crewneck sweaters and creating “3-D” herringbone knits.
His departure caps a year of changes at Pringle: Fang took over last year after the resignation of Mary-Adair Macaire and has been working closely with Benoit Duverger, who was promoted to the new role of managing director last year.
Fang said one of the chief priorities now is retail development, and that the new generation of Pringle stores would be about 2,500 square feet, or about half the size of the current flagship on Sloane Street in London.
The company will continue to wholesale the brand, and currently has more than 230 doors worldwide, with Saks Fifth Avenue, Barneys New York and Harrods among its stockists.
Fang said Pringle has seen double-digit growth in women’s wear for the spring season, and that the brand’s capsule collection of luxury basics, designed by 10 magazine editor Sophia Neophitou-Apostolou, was a bestseller at Heathrow Terminal 5.