Meet Walker Slater – Scottish Tweed & Tailoring Specialists
If you’re after a traditional tweed jacket or a made-to-measure suit you will find what you’re looking for at Walker Slater on Victoria Street. You’ll also find knitwear made from local Scottish yarns, fabulous accessories and gifts – perfect for Father’s Day! Stepping into one of the stores (2 in Edinburgh & 2 in London) is an experience in itself and will make you think you’ve travelled back in time. They’re gorgeously Scottish and full of character.
We got in touch with director Paul Walker who let us in on what running a successful clothing store is like. He’s also kindly giving away a handsome tweed hip flask for Father’s Day, so make sure you scroll down until the end to find out how to enter!
1. What was the inspiration behind Walker Slater and how did you get started?
I was hugely inspired during my time spent in the Scottish Highlands by the colours, the landscape and the textures. I had been used to the English countryside in my youth but Scotland was completely new to me and had so much dramatic scenery. The complexity of the designs of the tweed are really reflective of Scotland, sometimes the climate is harsh and needs thick Harris Tweed, however down in the Scottish Borders you find mills weaving with cloths suitable for the city with blends of cashmere and cotton. I was always interested in clothing, art and found my creative streak really emerged being in those surroundings.
2. What does a typical working day look like for you?
I like to begin work early, sometimes from home or in my design studio. I enjoy seeing the early mornings when nature is really beginning to wake up and there are small birds outside. There is a very nice French Patisserie, La Barantine, next to Walker Slater on Victoria Street so I enjoy visiting them in the mornings for a coffee and a chat. I organise my meetings for the week, many with internal staff about the stores, visuals and up coming projects. I also have a lot of work to do concerning our properties (WS have recently acquired a new warehouse and are preparing to open a store in Glasgow) so I often have meetings and phone calls to take for these. I like to spend a good part of my day looking at cloths which weavers have sent to me and deciding which styles and designs these could be suitable for. This is my favourite part of my role as it is very creative. I am very hands on and involved in the business, it is my passion.
3. What’s the most challenging part about made-to-measure tailoring?
Made to measure tailoring is an amazing strand to Walker Slater, it allows the customer so much freedom to choose tweeds, their own linings and buttons which means with the guidance of our expert tailors Joe and Marta the customer ends up with something which is truly a one off. I think the challenges come when it comes to managing customer expectation (sometimes the garments need further in house tailoring to become fitted correctly). I feel our team is well trained and has the customer service to handle this challenge, and that the positives out weigh the problems.
4. What are your 3 favourite products in the shop at the moment?
- My favourite product is my tweed gillet which warm (but breathable), practical and goes with most casual looks.
- Walker Slater have recently designed a collection with Harris Tweed Hebrides and the Scottish Rugby Union. I think the cloth is simply beautiful and makes up well into the Murrayfield jacket.
- Walker Slater make all of our garments in Europe, most of our tailoring is done in Portugal and Italy with our more casual wear being made in the UK. I would pick as my third item our Number 10 jean. Strong Japanese salvage denim with the best of British manufacturing.
5. Father’s Day is coming up soon. What would you recommend as a Father’s Day gift?
I think a visit to our store would be an excellent Father’s Day gift, the customer service is exemplary and the store is a feast for the eyes, and I pride myself in designing something for everyone.
6. What does the rest of 2017 have in store for Walker Slater?
A store in the west, Walker Slater is currently developing a site in Glasgow which we will open later in the year. Our new collection Messrs Walker Slater will launch and be in stores in September, this collection is bolder, has a nod to Scandinavian design and features new silhouettes.
7. What’s your perfect Edinburgh day?
I enjoy the wide selection of galleries Edinburgh has to offer, there are a number of great coffee shops to meet with friends. I also have 3 grown up children so taking them for something to eat in a nice Italian such as Gusto is also great fun. I enjoy the nightlife Edinburgh has to offer and love live music.
How do I enter the competition?
The competition runs from noon on Monday the 12th of June until noon on Sunday the 18th of June 2017. The giveaway is open to everybody over 18 in the UK. We will pick the winner within 24 hours after the competition has ended and contact the lucky person either through email or the social media platform they have used to enter the giveaway. This promotion is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
To be in with a chance to win a Scottish tweed hip flask from Walker Slater choose from the options below:
Make sure you follow us on social media so you don’t miss out on our monthly giveaways!