By: Katie Griffin
Imagine this: you’re visiting Europe and your goal is to experience as many traditions as possible, including the all-important high noon tea. You’ve made all the proper arrangements and are going to be enjoying your tea at a very elegant place. You certainly don’t want to make a fool of yourself by showing up in the tourist-favored socks and sandals combo with a matching fanny pack, but what in the world should you wear? Well, if you’re emulating the English, you’ll likely go for a cardigan and skirt perhaps paired with a strand of your grandma’s best pearls. This is a very typical and highly iconic look. But do you know who created it? The answer is Pringle of Scotland. No, we’re not talking about chips you use to channel your inner duck, but instead an almost 200 year old knitwear designer. However, Pringle hasn’t always been so illustrious. In fact, it didn’t even start as Pringle of Scotland, but as Waldie, Pringle, Wilson and Co. Thank goodness they rethought that name.
While Pringle is most famous for the creation of the Argyle knit and the twinset or the cardy-skirt combo, it actually started out as an underwear company. I guess you could say they developed from the inside out – especially considering that knitwear wasn’t originally considered outerwear. When Pringle first introduced the Argyle knit, it was immediately adopted by the Duke of Windsor which pretty much made it super cool back in the day. They began to specialize in cashmere clothing in the 1870’s when new technology for separating the finest fibers was developed. Robert Pringle was pretty much in charge of everything until 1934 when Otto Weisz was hired as the head designer. He is the one responsible for the twinset. Pringle rode a fashion high thanks to the modeling of their clothing by actresses like Grace Kelly and Lauren Bacall until the 1980’s. At that time, Pringle became financially unstable and lost a lot of market share to cheaper imports. In the late 90’s and early 2000’s, under new leadership, Pringle repositioned itself back into the luxury designer market.
With help from a massive marketing campaign and new lines designed by Stuart Stockdale, Pringle is once again a prominent luxury knitwear company desired by stars. Maybe you’ve heard of a few of the current celebs who’ve been spotted wearing Pringle – Madonna and David Beckham, just for starters. The label has returned to its original foundations, focusing on small and intimate stores that sell high end cashmere and wool products. They ran through a few designers recently, including Claire Waight Keller and Alistair Carr, but seem to have settled with Massimo Nicosia for the time being. He designed their most recent line using 3D printing technology. While very advanced and cool, the style of the clothing is still classy with a sporty edge, staying true to the company’s ideals of innovation with authenticity. Check out their newest designs when you have a chance.
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