Walker Slater was founded in 1989 in the Scottish Highlands before later settling Edinburgh’s Old Town, which is where its headquarters are today. Despite now being over 30 years old, the company has not deviated from its mission, which is to champion the heritage and sustainability of tweed and woollen fabrics through contemporary and elegant clothing.
Established by Frances Slater and Paul Walker, who helms the brand as creative director, the company started out with humble beginnings of supplying remote communities with hard-wearing classic clothing to combat the harsh elements. It quickly transcended its roots in the Highlands by moving south and opening outposts in Edinburgh, Glasgow and London. Within each store, quaint and charming interiors and passionate staff harmoniously cultivate Walker Slater’s own, unique world and provide customers with an authentic taste of Scotland.
Ready-to-wear tailoring is the central part of the offering (made-to-measure is offered, also), with a range of flattering suit styles that appeal to a wide demographic and range of social settings, such as for weddings and business. To sit alongside it, there’s a comprehensive offering of lifestyle garments – from outerwear, shirts, knitwear, denim and silk accessories – for both men and women. Overall, quality reigns supreme, and with Walker’s timeless approach to understated design and deeply-rooted appreciation for fabrics that are sustainably made, its creations are crafted to last.
As a result of the fortune of being from Scotland, the palettes of Walker Slater’s collections are inspired by its natural beauty. From the age-old towns and cities with their rustic charm, to the most remote moors and lochs that make even the most intrepid traveller lost for words, the earthy landscapes that reflect off still waters, warm cityscapes, and infinite nuances between them can be seen each season.
A fundamental area of the business is working in close proximity with its range suppliers and mills, most notably the world-renowned Harris Tweed Hebrides. Over the last three decades, Walker Slater has worked season on season with Harris Tweed to create a myriad exclusive fabrics. In addition to that, it also supports and promotes the lesser-known mills in The Borders, as well as specialist mills in Italy and beyond.
In 2017, Walker Slater launched a new line called Messrs, which aimed to appeal to a younger, more dynamic audience and it has been a roaring success. It does this through slimmer cuts and eclectic fabrics that are a refreshing and more youthful alternative to the traditional garments the mainline Walker Slater brand produces.
Over the years, Walker Slater has had the privilege of collaborating with, and creating garments for, a range of major sporting teams and organisations. Naturally, none fill the company with more pride than Scotland’s national football and rugby teams. In 2014, it worked directly with the Ryder Cup, which was hosted at the exceptional Gleneagles Hotel, and designed a dedicated collection with an exclusive Harris Tweed cloth. In addition, Walker Slater has also designed uniforms for a host of esteemed hotels across the United Kingdom and European Union.
With plans for expansion overseas in the next few years, most notably in Japan where there’s immense appreciation for traditional craft and textiles, Walker Slater will continue to do what it’s always done: create exceptional value for money items that are authentic and pure, and above all, represent Scotland on a global scale.