Gin & Kilts
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 reinvent 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.