In 1874 William Lyle and Walter Scott founded a knitwear company in Hawick, a small town hidden in the Scottish Borders. With a loan of £800, the premise was to meet the demand for high quality underwear in Victorian Britain.
Spinning yarn for the manufacture of "Ellaness" underwear at the original Lyle & Scott factory.
In line with William Lyle's favourite motto, "Good Work makes more Work", continued good business leads to impressive growth in Lyle & Scott's premises. Under the dynamic stewardship of managing director Charles Oliver Lyle & Scott establishes a worldwide reputation. In 1926 the brand progressed into the realms of fashion, applying its accomplished woollen skills to knitted outerwear; doubling turnover in the space of two years.
Good work makes more work.William Lyle
In 1951, world renowned photographer Walter Nurnberg OBE visited our factory in the Scottish borders. Famed for his iconic, industrial photography, Nurnberg captured life on our factory floor.
Lyle & Scott became a respected name in international fashion overnight when managing director Charles Oliver negotiated a partnership with Christian Dior in 1954 to produce joint branded cashmere. This was the first of many collaborations with luxury fashion houses & department stores including Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Liberty, Bergdorf Goodman and Michael Kors.
Lyle & Scott's superior craftmanship, quality fabric and simple silhouettes garner popularity amongst the well dressed modernists of the late 50s and early 60s.
In the 60s Lyle & Scott launched the golf wear range, a move that coincided with the design of the now iconic Golden Eagle motif. The Eagle represents not only the brands reputation for reliability and quality but is also, of course, a golfing term for achieving two shots below par. This new relationship with golf brought yet more exposure on the global stage, with charasmatic golfers like Gary Player and Tony Jacklin as well as A-list golf fans like Bob Hope and Bing Crosby sporting Hawick's finest.
"I would give up golf, if I didn't have so many sweaters."Bob Hope
In 1975, the brand was offered the ultimate reward for its emphasis on quality, expertise and craftsmanship when it was appointed the Royal Warrant by HRH, The Duke of Edinburgh. Lyle & Scott still holds the Royal Warrant today, and each piece that leaves our original factory in Hawick bears the Royal Warrant in the back neck.
Royal Warrants have always been regarded as demonstrating service, quality and excellence, and are highly prized.Royal Warrant Holders Association
In the 80s the bright colours of Lyle & Scott's golfwear range were then adopted by and introduced to the main apparel range, bringing a more contemporary image for the brand. Lyle & Scott featured heavily in a landmark investigation by iconic magazine The Face in to the "Casuals" youth movement.
They haven't got a name, though some call themselves CasualsDave Rimmer - The Face Magazine
Reinforcing our position as the original golf brand, Greg "The Shark" Norman wearing a now iconic geometric Lyle & Scott jumper, emphatically won the '86 Open Championship at Turnberry. Affection for Lyle & Scott amongst celebrity golf enthusiasts continues with Ronnie Corbett and Sean Connery donning the Golden Eagle.
Some of those shots impressed even me.
Greg Norman after his '86 Open victory
In 2003 we sharpened up our fit and expanded the horizons of the brand attracting a new generation of young, talented music, TV and film stars. The Golden Eagle proved particularly popular amongst the noughties indie pop scene and could be regularly spotted on bands like Vampire Weekend, Arctic Monkeys and Bloc Party.
In Autmn/Winter 2013, Lyle & Scott's offering is split in to three distinct collections. Lyle & Scott Classic is a timeless collection, encapsulating strong brand provenance and mainstream acceptance. Lyle & Scott Contemporary collection is trend led, worn by the fashion conscious individual whilst maintaining strong brand relevance. Lyle & Scott Golf focuses on fusing athletic performance with technical features.