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Fashion was a way out of Scotland for designer KENNETH MACKENZIE. Now he is putting style into some of the UK's coolest wardrobes.
‘.'\."o'<:'s: Rory Weller mottxyaar‘: Brian Sweeney
\\'ll;\'l' l)() R:\l)l()llli:\l). 'lt‘ick}. Shaun R}der and liwan .\lc(iregor lime in comiiion'.’ The} are all det'otees ol the label (i870. run by sole designer and t‘ounder Kenneth .\lacken/ie. The 35-year—old l)undoman is heartened that these people are sttpporting his brand and are willing to buy the clothes rather than scam a lt'L‘L‘hiL‘.
Macken/ie set up his clothing design company in Queen's Park. West London two and a halt years ago. naming it alter the Paris Situationist ItinVCtllClll ol‘ ()8 and the punk rock )ear ot‘ 76. Although he had studied tasliioit design at l’i'eston (‘ollege. he hadn't planned on becoming a designer. He knew he wanted to work within the lashion industry and had signed tip tor the course just to get otit ol‘ Scotland and do something ditt'erent.
.-\tter graduating in NM. .\lacken/ie moxed to London. did some part-time teaching and got a job with butter ot‘ St (ieorge. a clothing lirm in the ascendant. He became the company’s director. which im‘olxed buying. selling and dealing with press. The brand took ott‘ at the t‘orelt'ont ot‘ the British tashion ititltisti‘}"s regeneration.
From within a rapidly expanding business
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.\lacken/ie saw at l‘ii'st hand how the trade was organised tt'om pitching new ranges at the right price to dealing with iiianulticlurers. Alter about the years with the compan). he got bored ot’ working for someone else and decided to return to designing tor the ltrst time since lea\ ing college.
'lt' l'd set tip hel'oi'e and had to design and sell. I‘d lia\e l'ound it incietlihl} dil't'icult without the time at l)ull'er.' he stl}\. :\sl\L‘tl
\\ll)' llL‘ ltits sllc‘L‘L‘L‘tlL‘tl \\ltL‘l'L‘ Ulllt‘t's ll;l\t‘ tailed. he adds: "l'he most important thing about hating a compan) is the production. I've seen so man) people coming ottt and lias'ing a hit ot‘ h) pe tor a while. hut w hen the} delis er the product. it isn't tip to scratch. The} haxen't got the commitment to go the whole wa_\'.‘
Kenneth Mackenzie: a different perspective on design
.\lacken/ie s;l)s wholesaling is second nature to him. but his designs must hit the mark it" the} are to sell. .'\lltl hang on target the) are. His range ot~ trousers. shirts. jumpers and jackets ha\ e a modernist. clean look with a classic lcel. iiii\iiig new and traditional l‘ahi'ics a subtle e\pi'ession that isn’t gimmick} or sllti\\_\.
looking at the clothes. )ou wouldn‘t know when the} were madef he sa_\ s. "l‘he'x 're
not going to date in a season and. because it's ptit together well. it's going to last.‘ llis garments are sold h) h_\per design shops like Browns hut also in outlets like .’\specto. which is more designer to casual. l.iherl) w ill stock him ne\l summer. as w ill his l‘ormer workplace Dllllt‘t‘ (H St (ieoi'ge. ‘ll's good that w e're almost not deltncd. so we can tit into all lllL‘\L‘ areas.‘ he M!) s.
The 6876 winter range is available at Aspecto, 34 Gordon Street, Glasgow, 0141 248 2532.