Last Thursday evening, a smidgen of London’s usual glam launch party scene came to Glasgow with the launch of the Christian MacLeod SS’15 collection at the centrally located Cornithian Club.
MacLeod is something of a Scottish best kept secret, like our pristine soft water or how we can hold our drink. His leather accessories brand which is going from strength to strength (and only began trading last year) is impressive with its distinctive CM branding, it’s slick website and brand delivery and the designer’s attitude, which is refreshingly global and expansive in its approach.
The range, comprised of 25 belts in 4 styles, is all sleek go-to GQ menswear type objects of lust. Not a hint of tartan or ersatz Scottish kitschness. Thank the Lord. This is one smart cookie who realises that being based in Scotland and selling a brand does not have to have a regressively sentimental approach. It doesn’t have to scream Scotland. It just has to meet global standards with a point of difference. MacLeod had arranged for a brand tie-in with GQ mag as well as with BMW so the savvy is there in terms of matching aspirations and brand values. The campaign photoshoot to highlight the launch was equally impressive photographed by Glasgow based photographer, Stew Bryden. So far, so great.
MacLeod then took it one stage further by throwing the largest of launch parties (and after parties – hey, I’d dropped out by then, this London blogger knows her limits and mine’s had been well and truly pushed) filled with local celebrities and bloggers, movers & shakers and me.
Throwing on some old Galliano and adding bits of Dior for the thrill, I met our party who arrived at the launch with one of the men-of-the-moment, Craig McGinlay, model/actor/slickster and face of the pre-campaign as well as matching initials of the brand.
MacLeod had managed to create and hype an event that met expectations. Greeted with champagne on arrival and ushered to the VIP area, the event throbbed with excitement as well as plunge-appealing-for-imminent-lunge dresses. The event held all of Glasgow and most of Edinburgh’s fashion names and boy, had they gone for it. In amongst the mingling, tables had been strewn with Christian McLeod belts, hot shirtless models stood on plinths, highlighting pecs and belt branding whilst campaign images were shown on giant screens.
At the event, I managed to bump into Made in Chelsea’s Ollie Proudlock from the London launch party scene, who is also the shrewd business owner of Serge De Nimes. “I seem to see you everywhere, Katie!” he said as he hugged me. Ain’t that the truth.
Speaking about the event, Inverness based Christian MacLeod said, “The past year has been a whirlwind for me, having been nominated at the Scottish Fashion Awards for Accessory Designer of the Year 2014. I never expected the brand to be so well received in such a short space of time, the support people have shown me is overwhelming.”
The face of the brand for SS’15 is Glasgow Celtic footballer Derk Boerrigter alongside his partner, Jacqueline Steenbeck, ex Miss Netherlands (pictured below).
If Mr MacLeod decides to step it up a gear and go full on London Collections Mens’ Fash – who knows where he might go.