From our rich textiles heritage of tartan and tweed to 1990s heroin chic in Trainspotting and an abundance of Scots-born fashion pioneers such as Christopher Kane and Pam Hogg, Scotland is a nation known internationally for its unique sense of style.
And so, in celebration of our country’s innovative approach to fashion, we explore some of Scotland’s most stylish influencers today – from authors and models, to bloggers and musicians – all of whom, in their own way, are paving the way forward for a more exciting and diverse future for Scottish style.
Amy Bell is the talented creator behind the popular fashion and travel blog The Little Magpie, where she showcases stylish outfits against a backdrop of beautiful Scottish scenery.
Bell, who was born in and is still based in Glasgow, started the blog in 2011 as a creative outlet while she was at university studying English Literature, unaware at the time that she would eventually attract the attention of an impressive 146,000 followers, an audience that is still growing.
Bell’s style is effortlessly chic, evoking a sense of timelessness and glamour reminiscent of Golden Age Hollywood actresses – but with a fresh, modern twist.
“I honestly think Scottish people have some of the best style in the UK,” reveals Edinburgh-born supermodel, curator and actress Eunice Olumide, whose striking image has graced catwalks and glossy fashion magazines internationally.
In 2017, she was awarded an MBE for her contribution to the arts, broadcasting, and charity work. She says: “I am into sustainability, so my entire outfit excluding accessories is second hand, recycled or upcycled. I love wearing sentimental jewellery –my watch is from my mum.”
Father, fashion blogger and all-round entrepreneur, Howey Ejegi balances his time between his family commitments, his thriving jewellery business, Dele Jewellery, running Kreativedon (which is a content creation agency) and inspiring his many thousands of online followers with his colourful, quirky outfits and down-to-earth relatable content.
“My personal style is very dapper, quite maximalist but relaxed at the same time,” explains Dundee-based Ejegi.
“I try to find that balance between comfortable and stand-out pieces when I shop.
“Good style is that which feels comfortable, reflects your personality . . . and most importantly fits right.”
Paving the way for a more sustainable fashion future, Ruth MacGilp is a writer and digital marketer from Edinburgh. Currently working in London at Fashion Revolution, MacGilp is also the brains behind Common Threads, an ethical fashion podcast she co-hosts with fellow Scottish sustainable style advocate Alice Cruickshank.
Her personal style is minimal and classic, taking cues from menswear and vintage styles. “I shop first with my values. Most of my clothes are charity shop finds,” she reveals. “But in terms of aesthetics, I like simple, flattering silhouettes, and, most importantly, comfort – especially after a couple of years of working from home in elasticated clothing!”
When the pandemic interrupted her work as an events manager and stylist, former model and fashion editor Julie Hannah discovered Instagram. Conscious of the platform’s surprising lack of quality style content for women who are 40+, the mum-of-two set about creating an account that celebrates natural beauty and chic, playful dressing for women in her age group.
She prefers classic, timeless styles to fleeting trends.
“I’d rather spend money on a quality cashmere jumper that I can wear until I’m 60 and beyond, than a trendy pair of shoes which will inevitably fall apart,” says Hannah.
“Style is all about confidence. Feeling comfortable and happy in what you’re wearing goes a long way.”
Scotland’s newest, coolest musical outfit are a feast for the eyes as well as the ears. Based in Glasgow, Walt Disco are made up of James, Jack, Finlay, David, Lewis and Charlie – all of whom are informed by a range of eclectic influences, from 90s Hollywood actresses to Grayson Perry, and 1970s Brian Eno to Prefab Sprout music videos.
All six challenge conventional gender boundaries by offsetting sharp tailoring with pearl necklaces, fishnets and miniskirts.
“In a similar way to how we draw parallels between the pop music of the 70s and 80s and the pop music of today within our music, we like to take archaic and traditional clothing like suits, skirts and kilts and imagine how our modern pop heroes would wear them,” says keyboardist David.
“Similarly, we like to look at current trends, cuts and materials and imagine how they would have been styled back then.”
GORDON J. MILLAR
From doing social media for the Dalai Lama on his Scottish tour in 2012 to setting up Scot Street Style, a blog showcasing Scotland’s most fashion-forward faces, to now shooting films and music videos as a professional actor, Gordon J. Millar has certainly lived a colourful life.
The Edinburgh-based creative is a serious advocate for unique Scottish style, and has organised events internationally to bring together like-minded people and shine a spotlight on Scotland’s creative talent.
Millar’s own style is wonderfully eclectic, combining old military jackets and heritage pieces with punky drainpipes and Dr. Martens boots.
“Good style is about confident self-expression, adding your own unique twist, whilst celebrating your unique shape – because all bodies are beautiful,” he says.
“Unwashed moth-eaten cashmeres over vintage silk nighties,” Lynne Coleman confesses, when asked to describe her personal style, before citing favourite Scottish boutiques such as Jane Davidson, Armstrongs Vintage and William Chambers Millinery.
“I’m either inappropriately overdressed or ready for bed,” she adds. The Glasgow-born author and fashion writer is clearly no stranger to the world of luxury fashion. Having collaborated with some of the most prestigious fashion names globally, Coleman now hosts her own podcast called A Guide to Luxury, alongside duties as Brand Guardian at the country’s oldest artisan tartan mill, DC Dalgliesh.
As the owner of the world’s largest tartan swatch collection, Coleman’s commitment to Scottish fashion is hugely impressive, and she frequently uses her platform to champion Scotland’s rich heritage and innovative style. Coleman’s latest book, The Ultimate Scottish Lookbook, is due out in October this year.
As the creative director of Harris Tweed Hebrides, Mark Hogarth knows a thing or two about style. Raised on a farm in Ayrshire, he studied geopolitics before working in Asia as a model and a stylist, collaborating with the likes of Kenzo, Issey Miyake and Comme Des Garçons.
He has since worked with big name brands closer to home and currently sits on the council of The Campaign for Wool.
His style is a distinctive blend of vintage sportswear and traditional tailoring and he is a firm believer in sustainability and a ‘buy less, buy better’ approach. “We all have to try to consume less, which is why Harris Tweed remains a strong sustainable option – it is built to last a long time,” he explains.
Born in Dumbarton and now based in Glasgow, John Robertson runs the successful men’s fashion and lifestyle blog The Everyday Man. A master of the smart casual look, Robertson opts for a clean, classic aesthetic, often sporting relaxed tailoring or his trademark bright white trainers.
“I’m not a follower of trends but I don’t think that you have to be,” says Robertson.
“I think that stylish people are often those who have the confidence to avoid trends and wear the clothes that they want to or those that look good on them.”
“Style is more than just clothes, it is an expression of your personality and a commitment to looking your best,” says personal stylist and model Numba Pinkerton. Born in Zambia, Pinkerton now lives in South Lanarkshire, where she splits her time between raising her two boys and running her own image consultancy company Style Me Flawless.
“I work with clients of any gender, age, shape or size to refine their personal style and create a workable wardrobe they love,” explains Pinkerton, who herself is always impeccably turned out, admitting a particular fondness for high quality fabrics and clothing which is both timeless and practical.
Victorian corsets, kilts, fetish gear and cowgirl attire . . . musician and model Lucia Fairfull of Glasgow-based indie-pop band Lucia & The Best Boys likes to marry up dramatically contrasting elements to create her original look and is a firm believer is dressing to express yourself.
“I think being a musician has really helped me to find my style and not be afraid of being who I want to be. Growing up in a small village, I feel like I slightly suppressed how I wanted to be,” she reveals. “Now, I feel empowered and draw inspiration from everything that surrounds me.”
Represented and managed by Model Team Scotland and Bounse MGMT