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Off the record: July 15, 2015

Here & There

Very long service awards

Very long service awards

With just eight months’ service, Double Two’s sales director Lee Bromley (left) is very much the new boy at the Yorkshire shirt manufacturer. Group marketing manager Sandra Oxley (second left) has racked up 50 years, while managing director John Donner (right) claims 20 years. His mother, Nancy (second right), has been company secretary for 37 years, while his father and chairman, Ricky Donner (centre), was born a few months before the company was established 75 years ago. Ricky claims he started doing odd jobs in the original Wakefield factory when he was just three years old. Happy days!

Fashion Retail Academy 10th anniversary

Hooray for the FRA

Ten years ago, Philip Green had what he described as “an impossible dream”. Proving that they can come true, the now Sir Philip (pictured here with Appear Here’s Ross Bailey and Drapers’ Keely Stocker and Kirsty McGregor) gathered guests at Freemasons’ Hall in London to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Fashion Retail Academy he founded. M&S’s Marc Bolland, Tesco’s Jason Tarry and former PM Tony Blair joined industry leaders, academy supporters and FRA alumni for the event, which was hosted by TV presenter Vernon Kay and saw singer Paloma Faith perform its finale. FRA principal Lee Lucas remarked: “Milestones like this give us a fantastic chance to look to the future.”


Tripping out with Marc Cain

No sign of any clothes on the Marc Cain stand at Panorama in Berlin. Instead, visitors were asked to enjoy the sensory delight of a brilliant short film summing up spring 16, while sitting in the white cube of a stand. Drapers liked it so much we watched it twice.


Harrys’ Burlington bash

The Burlington Arcade in Mayfair was transformed into a two-Michelin-star dining room to mark the opening of footwear retailer Harrys of London’s remodelled store. Toby Bateman, buying director at Mr Porter, and Steven Newey, new chief executive of the premium men’s footwear firm, co-hosted the evening. About 100 industry and celebrity diners were treated to four courses from renowned chef Angela Hartnett and the musical stylings of The London Essentials quintet.


Designer diet

Mulberry founder Roger Saul, with son Freddie in tow, presented us with a copy of his new book while visiting Drapers Tower. Rather than focusing on fashion, the handsome hardback is all about spelt, the trendy grain. Since hanging up his manbag at Mulberry, Saul Senior, as well as running designer outlet Kilver Court in Shepton Mallet, Somerset, has become the UK’s largest producer of the wheat-free wonder.


A passage from India

Giving us her best Anna Wintour impression, we were delighted to bump into ex-HoF buyer Julie Woodhead in Berlin. Having done seven years with the Madura Garments retail side in India, she is back in Blighty having switched to consulting for Madura. Watch for other additions to her portfolio soon.   


Art attack

While clothing brands sought to make a splash with their spring 16 collections at Premium in Berlin last week, ethical shoe brand Toms entertained the crowds with a more energetic effort: flinging red and blue paint at canvas pumps Jackson Pollock-style as part of a live customisation display.

A tartan for Scottish wildcats

Some experts reckon fewer than 35 full-blooded wildcats remain in Scotland. To raise awareness and funds for Wildcat Haven, a sanctuary for the untamed pussies on the Ardnamurchan peninsula in the Scottish Highlands, a tartan has been created. Designed by Canadian graphic artist Glen Allardyce, the colours echo the felines’ coats. Artisan weaver D C Dalgliesh in Selkirk has produced the first bolt of the cloth and it, along with kilts, skirts and scarves, can be purchased from Paul Henry Kilts, which, confusingly enough, is based in the wildcat-free zone of Kingston upon Thames, London.


Readers' comments (1)

  • Paul Henry

    Just to help clear up any confusion, I have been involved with the wildcat tartan from it's early days, and as I am a kiltmaker and have experience with dealing with weavers . I am based win Kingston, but I export my kilts all over the world.
    If you would like to see some images of the tartan please look at my website and follow the links

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