Local Lovin’: Sleekit

SLEEKIT

My Local Lovin’ series is a spotlight on designers / stores / creators of marvellous things (and anything else that catches my eye) – all based here in Scotland. I believe that we should be supporting amazing home-grown talent, so I decided to keep Local Lovin’ as a permanent feature. If you have an awesome project, or create something that you think I might love, please let me know! See my Contact page for details of how to get in touch.

I’m really stoked to share this home-grown, award-winning designer with you guys today! Sleekit are a Scottish print apparel brand that don’t just create beautiful textile designs (though there is PLENTY of that going on!) – they tell stories through their pieces too. From luxurious scarves to vibrant sweatshirts, each Sleekit design is hand illustrated in their studio and form part of a narrative.

SLEEKIT

When I seen that Sleekit had recently launched an awesome new collection based on one of my favourite books as a child, The Tiger Who Came to Tea, I knew that I had to give them the Local Lovin’ treatment!

I got chatting with Iain McDonald, Sleekit’s founder and creative director, about storytelling through fashion, his design background, Terry’s Chocolate Oranges and much more…

Hi Iain! I’d love to know about how you got started with Sleekit and how the brand was born?
The brand was initially born way back when I graduated from art school and after a handful of work placements while living in London. I really thought it would be more fun to design what I wanted and create the products I wanted. Originally the brand was named ‘Naromode’ but as I grew and changed so did the business and the brand. As I am from a fine art & textile design background I love-creating prints that are exciting and commercial too with my hand painted designs. I transformed the brand name to Sleekit because I love the Scottish word and the sleek connotation behind it, as well as the fact it can mean artfully flattering, sly or cunning, so many things in the world of narrative fashion, illustrative fashion. It’s just a fun word really.

SLEEKITCan you tell me a bit about what inspires your work?
The main theme for me has always been telling a tale, it started of as narrative fashion but it’s so wide. I like to tell a story, be it a jungle subject, or like our new SLEEKIT SS18 jumper/sweats it was inspired by the story The Tiger Who Came to Tea; keeping that narrative theme that I love. I am also really into the tropical jungle theme that is everywhere at the moment, it’s fun and I enjoy illustrating/hand painting my own versions of all the rainforest animals, I designed some jungle themed prints for TOPSHOP last year and I know this story/theme isn’t going away anytime soon! Sleekit Store has flamingos, frogs, tigers and tropical jungle plants.

SLEEKIT

What was the very first Sleekit piece you created and sold? Is it still available?
The first piece was a little story of a moth, bee and fly. I created a mini silk scarf collection, cut them up and they all told the story of these insects. Whenever a customer bought them they had a different piece of the story. I believe these are still kept and treasured as I still see posts shared on social media with my customers wearing them. Maybe I will re-visit these designs sometime soon and bring them back to life…

During a long day of setting the design world on fire, what’s your snack of choice?
Just now, in-between trying to be healthy and hungry, any chocolate I can get my hands on, like Terry’s Chocolate Orange and any biscuits I can find while I do my tax return!

SLEEKIT

What’s been your proudest moment so far?
My proudest moment is being selected for Fashion Foundry 2016/2017 and meeting the Global director for TOPSHOP and TOPMAN. It was a very exciting time of support, encouragement and learning more about my business and what I wanted it to look like over the next few years. The guys and gals that run Fashion Foundry are amazing! They do so much for the creative industry in Scotland. At the end of the programme the organised a photo-shoot with I’ll Be Your Mirror and that was incredible, we ended up with some cool look-book imagery. Also to add to this, I won an award with Scotland Re: Designed for my silk scarves (which I will be doing more of very soon!).

I’m all about sharing the love – tell me about a designer that you can’t get enough of right now?
I absolutely love designer Ryan Cowie, he is so talented and I just know he is going to do great things. He is based in Scotland and just has a great eye and his latest collection is amaze! As is his Instagram account (@Ryanncowie).

SLEEKIT

Finally, do you have anything exciting coming up that we should keep our eyes peeled for?
I am working on a lot of designs at the moment which means I can drop products on my website. In the coming months I am preparing to photo-shoot the latest SS18 ‘When The Tiger Came to Tea’ sweats and jumpers, and other jungle print products such as crop-tops and a range of tees, which will be really fun!! I am also working with an independent graphic designer who will be designing my first ever SLEEKIT logo. Keep an eye on our instagram account for more behind the scenes.

To keep up to date with all things Sleekit, be sure to hop over to their Instagram account (@sleekitstore) and hit that follow button!

Toot toot! And if you fancy treating yourself to something lovely from Sleekit, use the code LYNSAYLOVES20 to get 20% off of your order! 

Thank you so much to Iain for sharing his story – I can’t wait to see what what’s next for Sleekit in 2018. 

 

 

 

All images used in this post with kind permission from Iain McDonald/ Sleekit 

Local Lovin’: Claire Barclay Draws

Claire Barclay Draws

My Local Lovin’ series is a spotlight on designers / stores / creators of marvellous things (and anything else that catches my eye) – all based in Scotland. I believe that we should be supporting amazing home-grown talent, so I decided to keep Local Lovin’ as a permanent feature. If you have an awesome project, or create something that you think I might love, please let me know! See my Contact page for details of how to get in touch.

Have you ever come across someone whose work just makes you grin from ear to ear? Claire Barclay is one of those people. Not only do her playful designs make me chuckle every time, but I’ve seen them first-hand brighten up the day of whoever comes across them!

Claire Barclay Draws

I first became aware of this adorable Glasgow gal a couple of years back when she very kindly sent me some of her amazing Claire Barclay Draws pieces for the new (at the time!) flat. I later found out that we had a mutual love for Prince, so you know that automatically places her on my list of Good People, right? A few of you might even remember that Claire did a live portrait of Gary, Bosley and I earlier this year – it’s now one of my favourite pieces of art that we have on display!

I therefore couldn’t help but feel it was high time that Claire Barclay Draws joined the Local Lovin’ gang – and couldn’t wait to blether with her about her inspiration, her travels and much more…

Claire Barclay Draws

Hey Claire! I’d love to know about the beginning of Claire Barclay Draws – have you always loved drawing? At what point did you decide to develop it into a business?

Yes, I have always loved drawing from a very young age! I went to art school in Edinburgh and used to get bewildered looks or a wee laugh when I’d come out with certain Glasgow slang or Scots sayings (most folk at my uni were not Scottish!), so I decided to create some illustrations that totally embraced the brilliance of these sayings. I had my first solo exhibition in a wee pub in Leith and that is where my boozy illustrations were born (Beautiful Buckfast, Terrific Tennents etc) and I sold so many prints of them over those two months I decided to get them onto Etsy and the rest is history!

You are clearly a Glasgow Girl at heart, but are there any other cities that have left you feeling inspired?

Well, I think Edinburgh actually does have a big part to play in the inspiration behind my business in that living there gave me such a strong sense of being a west coaster and a ‘Glasgow Girl’ away from home. That being said I absolutely love it there, it’s so beautiful and I spent a wonderful 5 years there…but I knew that when it was time to start my business properly I wanted to do it at home in Glasgow! I also love to travel and one of the best perks of being self employed is that I can take time to go explore different cities around the world. In the past year I’ve been to Barcelona, Antwerp, London, Berlin, Madrid and I’m going to Amsterdam in a few weeks time before Christmas madness is in full swing at CBD HQ!

Claire Barclay Draws

OK, you’re giving me major wanderlust over here! What was the very first piece you designed and sold? Do you still make it today?

Yes it was the ‘Beautiful Buckfast’ illustration which I sold during my exhibition in Boda Bar in Leith, which I still sell to this day and is still one of my best sellers actually!

Important question time: during a long day of designing, what’s your snack of choice?

Mmmmm I would have to say peanut butter on anything…?

Ah, a gal after my own heart! What’s been your proudest moment so far?

Going fully self employed and not having to juggle a part time job as well was a pretty proud moment! I also hit 2000 sales on Etsy recently and that felt nice.

Congratulations! That’s so cool! So, as you might know, I am all about sharing the love – tell me about an indie maker/ designer that you can’t get enough of right now?

I absolutely love the work of East End Press and Doris Does Doodles who are both fellow Glasgow based designers who make screen printed and digital illustrated work. East End Press’ work is just so colourful and fun and I adore the retro vibe Doris captures in her products.

Claire Barclay Draws

I love Doris Loves Doodles too, and I’ll need to check out East End Press – they sound right up my street! Finally, do you have anything exciting coming up that we should keep our eyes peeled for? Spill!

Yes indeed! I have my new Christmas collection launching ASAP as well as Pop Up Portraits events in Sunshine No.1 and Paisley Abbey in November and December! I’ll also be taking part in lots of festive markets including Etsy Made Local on the 2nd December and Tea Green Market in the Kibble Palace on the 9th and 10th of December. Oh, and I’m the guest artist at BLOW Finneston all of October where I shall be selling prints as well as drawing portraits on Sat 14th with 50% of all proceeds going to Glasgow Women’s Aid.

Phew! What a busy bee – I’m tired just thinking about all that! Thank you so much to the awesome Claire Barclay Draws for sharing a peek into her world!

You guys know what to do – hop on over to Claire’s website to keep up with her cheerful work and be sure to head to one of her pop-up appearances over the next few months. Ear to ear smiles and rad designs guaranteed…

 

 

 

All images by Claire Barclay Draws 

5 Reasons to Fall in Love with The Cambridge Satchel Company’s Spring Collection

Cambridge Satchel

Bonjour! Last week I was transported to the glamorous bygone days of the French Riviera… and I didn’t even need my passport (or a time machine!). Instead, I headed through to Edinburgh for a very special visit to The Cambridge Satchel Company’s store at Grassmarket to get to know their new Spring line a little better.

Inspired by vintage travel postcards, pastel-hued French sunsets, and the need to carry all of your precious essentials around in style, The Cambridge Satchel Company’s dreamy new collection left me completely smitten and with major wanderlust! Ooh la la!

Cambridge Satchel

I couldn’t help but snap some photos while I was visiting and chatting all things bag-shaped with the lovely team at the store – so I thought I would share a few of them today, along with some details on what you can expect from the new range.

Here are 5 very good reasons to fall in love with The Cambridge Satchel Company’s Spring Collection…

Cambridge Satchel

New colours: taking their cue from traditional villas, the sea and chic vintage French fashion, the colour palette for Spring includes brand new hues in Terracotta (my favourite from the collection, almost verging on peach and gorgeously girly), French grey (a soft, blue-grey that will go with EVERYTHING!), Clay (an off-white that has the power to smarten up even the most distressed denim) and Amber (warm, rich and will only look cooler as it gets worn).

Cambridge Satchel

Floating along on clouds: ahh, the cloud bags! My absolute favourites from the collection (and pretty much my favourite design that The Cambridge Satchel Company have ever released). These adorable, scalloped-edged satchels are included in the new colours and are the perfect size for a day of sightseeing.

Cambridge Satchel

New textures: as well as four new shades, the Spring bags also come in some brand new materials. From soft grain to luxurious Saffiano leather, the structured design that the brand is known for is given some extra je nais se quoi thanks to these additional touches of texture.

Cambridge Satchel

Poppy’s back… and she’s had a makeover: The Cambridge Satchel Company’s Poppy bags are a design loved by many (Lady Gaga often rocks the dusky rose colourway!) thanks to striking the perfect balance between pretty and practical. The retro push-lock closure and doctor’s bag style make this bag seem as though it’s leapt from an episode of Mad Men. So, Poppy is back for Spring because she really didn’t want to miss out on a trip to the Riviera; in new colours and Saffiano leather options.

Cambridge Satchel

This time it’s personal: actually, that’s not strictly true – personalisation at The Cambridge Satchel Company is not a new concept as the brand have been offering this service for a long time. However, there are some new monogram colours and symbols to choose from to help make your new season bag your very own! I love watching the process and I decided to adorn my terracotta backpack with silver initials (mine, of course!) to match the hardware. I just can’t wait to take it on my next adventure…

Cambridge Satchel

Cambridge Satchel

The Cambridge Satchel Company’s Edinburgh store is filled with beautiful bags and is a must visit on your next day in Edinburgh. Let me know if you pop in – and which bag(s) you’ve fallen in love with!

Here’s to travelling in style…

Signature

 

With thanks to The Cambridge Satchel Company