Name: A Colin R Gilchrist
Uni/College: Manchester Metropolitan and Westminster University
Course: Foundation Art and Fashion BA
Occupation: Creative and Marketing Director
Website: Social Tailor
Scottish Fashion Blog
You are a man of many talents, What is fashion to you in the world of social media?
Fashion now has many influences and for many years WGSN has been the leading light of setting the trend in colour, silhouettes, lengths and fabric types. In the 1960’s , 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s we witnessed the similarities between particular designers runway shows and the stock in our High Street stores. Now with the proliferation of content from Instagram, Polyvore, Bloglovin and many more we are seeing a more global diversity. Designers are finding it increasingly difficult to not be bombarded by the all-consuming nature of social networks. The bigger labels and brand employ Trend agencies, they in turn used to have lots of people on the street, hanging out in bars, clubs and street corners surreptitiously taking photos of people that look cool, hot, funky.. now we have ‘#Street Style’ and the club bathroom ‘ #selfie’ .Social networks have transformed the work of the Trend agencies and in turn the catwalk.
In Scotland it has been interesting to witness the press and social media coverage of the fashion industry, the Scottish Fashion Awards and their departure to Lo don, the Scottish Style Awards and the Edinburgh International Fashion Festival and now the phenomenal work of Gordon Millar and #Scotstreetstyle. PR and Marketing agencies need to be aware that social media is great and useful ion the fashion industry; however holding events is how we drive interest, engagement and traffic on your social platforms.
What made you want to be part of the fashion industry ? From spencer clothing to Social Tailor
From selling my own garments on a shared stall in Camden Market in the 1980’s to being a Buyer in the 1990’s working with Valentino, Paul Smith, Moschino, Calvin Klein and latterly choosing the stock for the Scottish Stores of Burberry ( we had one on Buchanna Street in Glasgow, Princess Street in Edinburgh, Union Street in Aberdeen and a small concession at Gleneagles Hotel). After Burberry ( I was based in Edinburgh) I wanted to stay in Scotland; with no one like Burberry here I changed career and got into digital Marketing. Creating brands, setting up spin-out companies in film production, software, launching huge developments… as any good agency does. My experience took me to Las Vegas to spend time with Zappos.com to being asked to be the face of Spencer Clothing. Social Tailor was a fashion blog set up in 2009, becoming a full-blown marketing agency in 2010. Spencer clothing was something I was doing whilst running the agency. For Spencer I was approached by JSC Kauno Baltija in Lithuania to create a Europeans women’s wear brand; employed on a two-year contract for a for a few months each year.
Do you see a growth in the Fashion industry in Scotland? and how so?
The fashion industry in Scotland is very diverse. The designer that remain in Scotland are poorly supported and the majority remain almost ‘Lifestyle’ businesses designing, making, marketing and taking to market their product. The few that surpass that model are niche, designing for a large well-supported retail brands to the most specialised designers producing full collection like Obscure Couture, Hayley Scanlan and Iona Crawford.
I would like to see the creation of fashion design and textile incubator in Scotland to better support those leaving Universities and colleges. A fashion design hub that introduces our design talent to investors, manufactures, buyers and retailers; a job that been started by Chris Hunt and Scotland Re:Designed that needs bigger investment, more support and wider focus.
About 18 months ago I set up @ScotFashionBlog (instagram & Twitter) with a Facebook page and now website to better support the fashion industry and its bloggers in Scotland.
Where do you hope to be in 5 years time with the amazing work you are currently doing
Five years is a long time. I will forever support the fashion industry, the start-up communities and those passionate about making Scotland an inspiring place to live work and play.