LONDON – Pringle of Scotland has scored an autumn trifecta, revealing its first collaboration with H&M, taking part in Frieze Art Fair’s first runway show with Symonds Pearmain and rolling out Volume 1 of Pringle Reissued, a new concept capsule collection of unisex designs based on the brand’s Eighties archives.
Pringle, like so many London brands and designers, eschewed a traditional catwalk show this season in favor of projects highlighting its assets and heritage. Last month, it debuted Pringle Reissued Volume 1 at Dover Street Market in London, and has since rolled out the collection to its own stores, including a new unit on Edinburgh’s George Street, and online.
Pringle Reissued, a direct-to-consumer proposition, will land at Dover Street Market Ginza on Oct. 19.
Women’s design director Fran Stringer said Reissued was inspired by how football fans — and her older brothers and their friends — dressed in the Eighties, with their eye-popping bright argyle sweaters. For years, Pringle’s appeal cut across age groups and social classes.
It was worn by golfing grandparents, stylish teenagers, football fans — and football hooligans, too.
“The Eighties was a huge moment for street style and youth culture in England, and everyone was proud of their individuality and of making a statement,” said Stringer, adding that Pringle’s archive is packed with Eighties argyles so she had no problems riffing on the designs.
Asked about the hooligans, or violent football fans, wearing Pringle in the Eighties, and whether that impacted her design process, Stringer said: “They were a tiny minority of people. Unfortunately, there will always be some bad eggs, and I would never glamorize hooligans.” Stringer added that she was thinking about the majority of the Pringle-wearing spectators who were families and members of the local community.
“At that time, football was a working class game, a coming together of families and communities — and I wanted to celebrate that era. Today, a lot of working class people can’t afford to go to a football match — they are for the wealthy. In the Eighties, people dressed to be part of a community. It was part of a tradition, a lifestyle,” said Stringer, who hails from the industrial town of Middlesbrough in North Yorkshire.
For the new collection, Stringer re-colored and re-created the knits on a unisex block, and made them in lambs’ wool to keep costs in check. Prices range from about 150 pounds to 225 pounds for the sweaters and there are also socks, hats, beanies and scarves in the collection, too.
Stringer made the sweaters fitted and oversize and with lots of clashing patterns. To mark the collection’s debut at Dover Street Market, the photographer Josh Gordon shot Lennon Gallagher, skater Lucien Clarke, musician Tara Lily, and model Jess Maybury, among others, wrapped up in the knits.
Stringer will continue to design the women’s seasonal, mainline collections for Pringle. As reported, Pringle has a new men’s wear design director in Giuseppe Marretta. He debuted his first collection for spring 2020 at a presentation during Paris Men’s Fashion Week.
Two of Pringle’s other fall projects, H&M and Frieze, will be revealed on Thursday.
H&M marks the Scottish knitwear brand’s first high street collaboration, and there’s a sustainability angle, too. The collection is women’s wear-only, and features 39 pieces, most of them inspired by Stringer’s collections from 2016 onward.
There are A-line knits with graphic argyles and flouro tipping, cropped logo sweaters with puffed shoulders, and others that are a patchwork of tone and texture.
Sweater dresses with ring pulls, hoodies, hats and scarves also feature in addition to a lineup of jersey pieces with racing stripes and house branding. A few dog coats have been tossed in, modeled in the campaign by a brown and white terrier.
More than 50 percent of the yarns have been made from recycled or sustainable fibers, including recycled polyester, organic cotton, wool and viscose. The wing tags have been made from recycled card. Labels read Pringle of Scotland for H&M.
Pringle said H&M approached them, made their picks from past seasons and offered them a choice of yarns. H&M adapted Pringle’s designs, took care of production, and sold the collection into all 72 countries where H&M has stores.
Prices range from 12.99 pounds for a jersey branded T-shirt, to 49.99 pounds for an oversize V-neck three-button cardigan. Hoodies with the Pringle name arching across the back cost 24.99 pounds.
Campaign images feature Julia Sarr-Jamois, the London-based stylist and fashion editor at large at British Vogue, walking her Pringle-clad dog and working the sporty, street-y looks.
Katy Wallace, brand director at Pringle, said the label has a long history of collaboration, “and is always looking for new ways to express the DNA of its heritage knitwear.” She added that Pringle has also been looking closely at the consumer, how they are evolving and changing and figuring out what the brand can bring to the mix.
She said H&M’s “playful, sporty take” on the argyle and Fair Isle knitwear should appeal to existing customers, and reach a new, worldwide audience.
Just as that collection drops onto the shop floor, Pringle’s latest knit collaboration with Symonds Pearmain will be hitting the catwalk as part of a Matchesfashion.com global collaboration with Frieze on Thursday. It is the first fashion show to take place at Frieze Art Fair, which runs until Oct. 6.
Spring 2020 marks the second season that Pringle is working with the fashion brand, which was founded in 2016 by designer and artist Anthony Symonds and stylist Max Pearmain. The show will takes place at the Frieze venue in Regents Park.