Contemporary Tweed - From Countryside to Catwalk


First seen at London Fashion Week in February, our Contemporary Tweed capsule is the seed from which our seasonal collection, ‘Origins’ grew. These textural, graphic pieces tell the story of our own origins, in the heart of the Scottish countryside. But while tweed is traditionally used as a form of camouflage, our Autumn Winter designs do anything but blend into the background.

Johnstons of Elgin's Creative Director Alan Scott describes traditional tweed as the fingerprints of Scottish estates. We have been producing this unique performance fabric since the 1840s, making it as much a part of our heritage as it is our modern-day business. This season, our designers have taken this piece of our brand’s DNA and created something as beautiful as it is contemporary.

‘The colours in traditional tweed represent the landscape around each estate, so there could be accents of beautiful purple heather or the yellow of gorse, or it could be a flash of red. We still present traditional tweeds, but here we have interpreted a modern version. We blew up the design for a more graphic pattern with a modern, confident edge,' explained Alan.

The combination of nature-inspired colours includes olive green, a weathered grass shade and shots of red inspired by the rich berries of a rowan tree. While tweed is primarily associated with lambswool, our newest designs are made with the highest quality Merino Wool fibres – a thick, air spun yarn that gives the tweed a textural appearance and accentuates the pattern.

Hero products that showcase our Contemporary Tweed include our Men’s Chesterfield Coat and our Women’s Trench Coat. The same design utilises a lighter weight fabric in skirts, trousers and jackets.

Women's Trench Coat in Tweed

Alan said, ‘This is a unique part of our textile heritage, we were the original producers of many of the tweeds for families in Scotland, so we are using our history and pulling it forward to a contemporary area. We showed it at London Fashion Week where it was front and centre and looked brilliant.’

Tweed originated in Scotland and differs from tartan, which is associated with clans and family members, regardless of their geographical location. Estate tweeds are typically worn by people living and working on a particular estate whether or not they are related. We created our first tweed in 1846, and our Contemporary Tweed collection brings together functionality and fashion, breathing new life into a long-established design. This exploration of our Scottish origins sits perfectly with the rest of our Origins collection, which takes inspiration from the homelands of our fibres.

Johnstons of Elgin tweed

Our designers took inspiration from this tweed in our Archive for the Contemporary Tweed capsule

We talk a lot about the longevity of our products, and our considered designs are intended to last. With around 175 years of history as inspiration, we are confident our Contemporary Tweed collection will turn heads this season and will continue to be relevant year after year.

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