Lyle & Scott's Richard Martin talks heritage as the brand offers a poetic ode to tartan
For Lyle & Scott's latest modern take on heritage, the brand team up with raw-knucked Scottish poet Stuart Cosgrove to deliver an elliptical tale with a touch of magical realism. Young men wearing local checks and in classic harrington jackets traverse jagged landscapes, a singular armchair appears from nowhere in the long grass, and the classic tartan check is mirrored in the derelict geometry of well-worn buildings. We cannot escape our history, and just as tartan is woven into the fibre of Lyle & Scott, it likewise is in Highland life.
Here, Lyle & Scott's Brand Director Richard Martin reflects on the brands rich heritage.
Dazed Digital: Carnaby Street has such rich cultural history – what drew you to that location for the new Flagship store?
Richard Martin: When you look at the streets incredible fashion history and its recent renaissance as one on the Worlds destination shopping areas it’s a great opportunity for one iconic brand to align with another.
DD: You've spent your career working with heritage brands - what's the attraction?
Richard Martin: The challenge of harnessing a brands heritage, defining its values and association and then re-introducing the brand to market as an effective, contemporary fashion brand. It’s incredibly difficult to balance the two...some brands rely too much on a ‘pastiche’ of their heritage and some forget about it completely!
DD: Why do you think fashion continues to have such a fascination with heritage? Will it ever change?
Richard Martin: I don’t think it will. As consumers become more careful in how they spend their money they care about the reason why the product exists; it’s back story, where it was made, how it is constructed and supported other cultural platforms that are woven into its DNA. If heritage brands continue to re-invent and contemporise where it has come from then consumers will buy. Lyle has it’s Scottishness, 139 years of manufacturing, heritage and Golf to reference so the opportunities are endless...helped by an incredible archive of course.
DD: Did you wear Lyle & Scott as a young man?
Richard Martin: No...I wanted but couldn’t afford it!
DD: What are your hopes for Lyle & Scott’s future?
Richard Martin: Moving forward and continuing brand momentum is important but ultimately the brand is defined by where it came from so always maintaining that balance is the challenge. The future is rosy, we have many, many stories to tell and creatively amplifying these stories globally with partners Like Dazed is fundamental.
DD: What has Carolyn Massey brought to the brand? What’s your collaborative process like together?
Richard Martin: Carolyn is our in-house Head of Design and has brought premium, high fashion experience to the design process. She understands the need for storytelling and has an intimate relationship with our archive!
DOP: Azul Serra
Producer: Gilly Gilchrist
Styling: Adam Winder
Grooming: Yoshitaka Miyazaki
Model: Elliot Vulliod