My passion to understand the client in front of me, his personality, shape and perception of what he should wear, is key to my success
From as young as I can remember, I would revel in the colour, shape and textures of the Aladdin’s cave of men’s fashion in my father’s tailoring and outfitting business, which was founded in November 1946.
From the age of twelve, I was employed as a Saturday boy and began my journey of learning the ways of retailing at the sharp end. Aged sixteen, the business beckoned full-time, as my father decided to take a back seat. My tailoring and design skills really developed, helped by some great team members who had all been with my father for more than forty years.
Working through this period, I developed my appetite for colour and design, regularly visiting London every few weeks on buying trips to view cloth and collections, as well as our biannual visits to Paris, Cologne and Florence. I loved the fashion showrooms, but also the retailing, style and sophistication the Europeans had. I loved it and longed to introduce some of this back to the UK.
Having started up another fashion business in the late 1990s and then meeting my wife, Melanie, I decided to concentrate on men’s highland fashion and formalwear. I developed the Kiltpin brand, which was widely regarded as a trailblazer in men’s Scottish fashion, consistently winning many fashion and wedding awards.
This led to the Andrew Brookes Collection, which I first introduced in New York, after being asked to design for the famous Dressed to Kilt Scottish fashion show. I realised then that handmade menswear under my own label was my passion and direction, which has led me to where I am today.
I believe I have something unique to offer my clients. My years of buying international collections, merchandising and display in Scotland and in New York, and my passion for design over the years in menswear and in highland wear, all make for something very special.
But what I really have to offer is me! My passion and drive to understand the client in front of me, his personality, shape and perception of what he should wear, is my key to success. I love what I do, the people I have met and the lives I have been honoured to touch.
In 2017, my wife, Melanie, formally became my partner in business as well as in life. Together, we are working hard to expand the business and plan to introduce a new collection specifically for young professionals later this year.