Apprentices of Buchanan Bespoke Footwear, recently meet their hero Sir Alex Ferguson, boss of Manchester United Football Club, to present him with a pair of leather shoes, hand made by senior craftsmen in Govan.
Based in Sir Alex’s home town of Govan, the company has been making high-quality tailored shoes for men for nearly 90 years.
Recently, it took on three new apprentices to teach them the craft of luxury footwear production using an exclusive range of fine leathers, linings, and soling materials.
Local lads, Andrew Harvey, 18, Scott Rennie, 17, and William Magee, 27, took a pair of size nine shoes for Sir Alex from the company’s headquarters in Helen Street to his offices in Manchester United’s training ground. There they were able to soak up the iconic atmosphere and deliver the brown brogues to Sir Alex in person.
The experience was particularly exciting for William who is a player for Harmony Row Football Club, of which Sir Alex is a patron and honorary member. William said: ‘It was a dream come true to meet Sir Alex. He is one of Britain’s greatest living football managers and I hope to see him wearing the shoes at a match on TV soon.’
Diana Currie, managing director of Buchanan Bespoke Footwear, said: ‘Our apprentices were thrilled to meet him. We have been providing high quality footwear since 1925. It is important that we keep the traditional hand crafted shoemaking skills alive. By taking on new apprentices we can create a new generation of experts. I wrote to Sir Alex to tell him about our commitment to training and our three new apprentices. He was only too happy to get involved with us as we are based in Govan – his home town.’
Cathy Black, head of textiles, Scottish Enterprise, said: ‘Our textiles and apparel industry in Scotland relies on meticulous processes and a highly skilled workforce. It is essential for companies like Buchanan Bespoke Footwear, to invest in the next generation through apprenticeships and ensure that skills are passed on allowing the industry to thrive. We know that the Buchanan team enjoyed their visit to meet Sir Alex and that they now have a new ambassador for their premier league products.’
by Lynsay Keough
Claire McInally, a textile designer from Tollcross, showcases her latest collection at the New Designers Show in London from 1 July 2010.
She will unveil her latest collection of silk printed scarves and a silk and chiffon mix pleated dress. A continuation of her graduate collection, which was snapped up by high street store Oasis last year and is in store now, the new range is inspired by architectural forms and three dimensional design.
The scarves and dress incorporate delicate pleats and folds to create a 3-D effect in the print while the fabric still remains delicate and feminine.
The 24 year old has celebrated great success over the past year and hopes this exhibition will enhance her career even further. Said Claire: ‘The last year has been amazing. Working with Oasis on my collection has helped me focus on the direction in which I want to take my career. At this event I will unveil my new collection of embroidered scarves and will also show my Oasis range so people can see how I have developed.
“Scotland has a long tradition of producing international respected designers and products and I am proud that I have created my own unique style – a mix of traditional weaving with contemporary design – which will add to this already established heritage.”
Now in its 25th year, New Designers has established a longstanding reputation for bringing young design talent and business together, helping thousands of graduates and young designers propel their careers.
Cathy Black, head of textiles, Scottish Enterprise said: “This is an excellent opportunity for Claire to showcase her newest collection and how far she has developed as a designer in just one year. Claire’s use of traditional weaving techniques with modern aesthetics has established her with a signature, unmistakeable style which has already brought her great success. It is encouraging to see young designers using the long established textiles crafts, for which Scotland is famous, in contemporary design. Claire is an inspiration to all up and coming designers in Scotland and we hope many more will follow in her successful footsteps.”
New Designers 2010 will take place at the Business Design Centre in Islington, London, from 1 to 11 July. With a host of industry, media, trend predictors and buyers as well as the general public, this show is seen as an invaluable springboard for all who exhibit.