A fleeting meeting with... Kean

A Fleeting Meeting...

As Head of Supply for Walker Slater, Kean ensures the main collections are well stocked, orders are signed off, customer feedback is realised and new lines are designed to their best potential. He also likes to make certain his colleagues are kept abreast of all Glasgow's best vegetarian eateries, his newest fragrances and, of course, the dogs he met on the way to work...

Breakfast foods. Easily the best of the food groups. My sweet tooth is legendary at this stage; some form of pancake situation is always preferred. Lagom in Glasgow (gone, but not forgotten) once had a chocolate orange pancake special. I am hard pushed to think of a better day of my life. I do still have pictures of these on request—might even be the screensaver on my computer...  

One of my great loves of working in fashion/retail has always been watching trends come and go, but certain shapes just remain timeless. I’ve found, as time has ticked on, I am less drawn to “fad” trend-lead shapes and much more focused on classic cuts and fits. I think an early starting point for this was a love for selvedge denim; more about the fabric and the adaptable fit it allows. Versatility, quality and comfort have become huge factors in my buying habits over the last five years or so.  

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention my love for a statement coat—a garment which displays all of the aforementioned characteristics!

Just for contrast with the main suited image, here's Kean pre-morning-coffee modelling his Watson overcoat.

I find I draw a lot of inspiration from actors of the 50s/60s/70s time periods. As I mentioned, I have a slight soft spot for selvedge denim. Seeing the likes of James Dean in a classic 501 jean and a well fitted Harrington—a style I’ve always leaned towards. From a more sartorial angle, a very underrated style icon is Harry Callahan (played by Clint Eastwood) in Dirty Harry. The use of separates and the colours... yes please!  

James Dean in classic selvage denim jeans

For a more modern icon, Jake Gyllenhaal. A great dresser. Fantastic relaxed day to day wear, but one very sharp dresser on the red carpet. Very underrated.  

Something I am probably connected with a lot is workwear. Workwear jackets are a fantastic piece and my favourite at the moment is our olive Villager in cotton-linen mix. Fantastic colour and such a wonderfully practical piece.  

Kean expressing his joy at the arrival of the Villager jackets.

A life of retail, especially around fast fashion and high street, has been fascinating to reflect on. There has been a real move in recent times towards sustainable clothing and the journey of the product from make to shelf.  

I think there has been quite a few factors in this, but I do believe a huge part of this shift has been the boom in social media. With smaller, greener conscious brands having a much greater reach, I think people have started to think about this more.  

Social media is not without flaw, but it has meant a wider audience finding more sustainable and local brands more easily. It’s also meant that people can be more vocal about short comings of some of their preferred high street juggernauts. This has held a lot to account and lead to better practices long term.  

For me, looking back from 2005 to now, there has been a massive shift away from buying multiple fast fashion items to opting for long lasting statement pieces. Long may it continue!  

I never feel choosy about brands I buy from, but I am a creature of habit. Once I find fits, fabrics and brand ethics I like I tend not to stray from shopping with them.  I’ll still dip into high street brands for basic tees etc, but I try to buy less and lean towards longer lasting product.  

I still remember my first WS suit from long before I was working here and the jacket, a charcoal Donegal pattern Edward, still looks great today (if not a little tight... damn pancakes!) I think that’s a large part of our popularity is the longevity and elegance of our tailored products.  

I just think, where possible, support brands that put love and care into their product. If you can, support a greener, fairer and cruelty free world—win for everybody.  

I think a very underrated facet of style is fragrance. I am somewhat obsessed with this element of my life and I am willing to accept that now.  

Times of year, occasions and even certain styles call for a certain smell. See, obsessed. I will always lean towards vegan/cruelty free brands and this took me down a Le Labo rabbit hole. You really don’t need to shop with anybody else; a shelf in my bedroom has become a shrine.  

A collection slowly starting to rival that of my vintage football shirts.  

I will never get tired of watching Christopher Nolan’s 'The Prestige'. Every aspect of that film is brilliant. The story, the set design, the wardrobe, the cast, the ending. Perfection. I am pretty sure my jaw is still on the floor in the Dundee Odeon.  

I should really just exclusively wear Jute as a Dundonian, right?  Obviously Dundee has been on the radar a lot since the V&A, so if anybody is make a trip there, head to Broughty Ferry beach. Go to Visocchi’s for the best gelato in Scotland and just walk along that waterfront. Doesn’t rain as much as here in Glasgow, so you should be fine.  

The waterfront and the surrounding area have a lot of great memories from my childhood. I still have my preferred spot to go and sit when home. Good for dog spotting too.  

Broughty Ferry Beach, just east of Dundee


Outfit (top): The Edward suit in bracken herringbone cashmere wool (second) Harris tweed Watson coat (third) cotton linen Villager (online soon)


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