Gin & Kilts | FASH­ION + SPIR­ITS

Upscale Living Magazine - - Contents - | BY RAJ GILL

Two Scot­tish brands have de­cided to set up a col­lab­o­ra­tion, gin and kilts what could pos­si­bly go wrong. In­creas­ingly brands are set­ting up col­lab­o­ra­tions with fash­ion de­sign­ers to boost sales.

One such ex­am­ple is the re­cent union be­tween Scot­tish drinks brand Caorunn Gin (pro­nounced “ka-roon”, Gaelic for Rowan Berry) and the ris­ing star of Kilt mak­ing Siob­han MacKen­zie.

Caorunn is ap­proach­ing eight suc­cess­ful years and in that short time has won mul­ti­ple awards. Most re­cently, a Gold Award for ‘Scot­tish Gin Des­ti­na­tion of The Year’ at the very first Scot­tish Gin Awards.

Si­mon Bu­ley, Gin Master, cre­ated this true Scot­tish gin in 2009, and has been hand-craft­ing Caorunn ever since. The work be­gan when a 1920s cop­per berry cham­ber was trans­planted to the dis­tillery, this led to Si­mon scour­ing the area for nat­u­ral in­gre­di­ents that grew lo­cally and had a sig­nif­i­cant Celtic link. He is in­volved in every step of the process en­sur­ing that every bot­tle of Caorunn is of the high­est stan­dard.

Crit­i­cally ac­claimed Scot­tish fash­ion de­signer, Siob­han MacKen­zie is mak­ing strides in a male dom­i­nated in­dus­try. Tra­di­tion­ally kilt mak­ing is left to the men folk. MacKen­zie brings her own set of spe­cial skills, and as a re­sult her unique kilts stand out from the crowd. And this is what at­tracted the gin mak­ers to set up the col­lab­o­ra­tion. Siob­han is a pi­o­neer in the fash­ion world and put her knowl­edge and life ex­pe­ri­ence to good use to help pro­mote the gin brand.

She was given the task of pro­duc­ing a spe­cial be­spoke kilt to cel­e­brate Caorunn’s con­tem­po­rary tar­tan which is of­fi­cially regis­tered by The Scot­tish Tar­tan Au­thor­ity.

The tra­di­tional kilt dates back to the 1720s, Macken­zie of­fers a unique twist on this by con­trast­ing mul­ti­ple fab­rics and colours. Born and raised in The Black Isle in the High­lands of Scot­land, her High­land her­itage and Clan Macken­zie roots in­spired her Grad­u­ate Col­lec­tion and have re­mained a firm in­spi­ra­tion tran­scend­ing through­out the brand.

Her in­no­va­tive de­sign flair mixed with an ex­clu­sive Made in Scot­land brand ethos rein­vents the kilt, tai­lor­ing & knitwear into a con­tem­po­rary Scot­tish Fash­ion La­bel.

Macken­zie says, “I was filled with in­spi­ra­tion on how to take the Caorunn tar­tan for­ward in a way which em­u­lates the beauty aes­thetic form of the Caorunn bot­tle.”

Si­mon Bu­ley, con­tin­ues, “The ter­roir, the process and the peo­ple en­sure pas­sion, in­no­va­tion and tra­di­tion are poured into every bot­tle of Caorunn Gin. We are proud oth­ers are able to take in­spi­ra­tion in what we do. I strongly be­lieve in cham­pi­oning Scot­tish crafts­man­ship and Siob­han is the per­fect ex­am­ple of what makes it so spe­cial.”

When asked if the union has been a suc­cess­ful one, Si­mon goes on to ex­plain, “This is not the first time we have col­lab­o­rated with Siob­han, last year we had a pop up bothy at Glas­gow air­port, where trav­el­ers could sam­ple Caorunn and also pur­chase a bot­tle with a lim­ited edi­tion mini tar­tan kilt de­signed by Siob­han. The ac­ti­va­tion was so suc­cess­ful for both par­ties we de­cided to work to­gether again.

This time we’ve fo­cused on cham­pi­oning Scot­tish crafts­man­ship. Siob­han took in­spi­ra­tion from the hand­crafted process each bot­tle of Caorunn goes through, and then cre­ated a new con­tem­po­rary Caorunn kilt with an ur­ban edge.

Con­sumers and the fash­ion world are al­ready very en­gaged with Caorunn as we are a su­per-pre­mium gin and present at lux­ury events, but I do be­lieve we have reached an even wider au­di­ence with this unique part­ner­ship.”

So as col­lab­o­ra­tions go this has proved to be a suc­cess­ful one for both brands.

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