Harris Tweed hits Top Man

A new Harris Tweed collection from leading High Street retailers, Topman, has been welcomed by the company which made the fabric as “another great boost for the industry”.

Harris Tweed Hebrides, based at Shawbost in the Isle of Lewis, has supplied Topman with tweed in both traditional and specially-commissioned patterns for a range that stretches from coats to bow-ties.

Topman plan to carry the collection from November 8th in their flagship stores, including New York, Tokyo and Edinburgh, as well as on-line.

Mark Hogarth, creative director of Harris Tweed Hebrides, said: “We particularly like the idea of raising the profile of Harris Tweed for a new market in the United States, which has huge potential for growth.

“The Topman collection is both contemporary and classy. The choice of tweed and the cut on the designs are exquisite. We are confident that this collection will bring Harris Tweed to the attention of a whole new generation.

The organiser of the Scottish Style Awards – which gave Harris Tweed Hebrides its premier accolade for Outstanding Contribution to Style – Mary McGowne, said it was “tremendous” that Top Man were introducing a Harris Tweed range and paid tribute to the work done by the Shawbost company and the Harris Tweed Authority to promote the fabric.

“Harris Tweed is one of Scotland’s last great craft industries,” she said. “It is completely authentic, woven by weavers working at their own homes, and for fashionistas, there is nothing like the real thing”.

Brian Wilson, chairman of Harris Tweed Hebrides, paid tribute to Ian Angus Mackenzie and his team at the Shawbost mill. “This was an important new client and as usual, they responded magnificently to produce the perfect product.

“Our production in 2010 is 50 per cent ahead of where we were at the same time last year, boosted by new clients like Top Man as well as those who have worked with Harris Tweed for many years.