You may have heard about a recent Instagram post linking Jamieson & Smith with hip hop artist, Lil Uzi Vert. Funny how these things come about!
We had been in communication with design house Dries Van Noten since around this time last year when they ordered some 2ply Jumper Weight for sampling. They were great with asking us about using our original logo, designed by Oliver Henry, on the sweaters they were planning to knit using our yarn.
Initially, we thought they wanted to use this in the garment care label, inside the sweater, so we explained that maybe they would prefer to have our current J&S star logo. A reply by email confirmed that because they were interested in heritage brands the original logo suited their design better. That was fine by us, then we noticed the attached image – our logo in HUGE print directly on the front of a sweater! Not what we were expecting at all but brilliant for us!
So the big yarn orders, in a selection of 2ply Jumper Weight shades, came in over last winter from DVN and to be honest it was a little difficult to keep up. Especially at that time of year when the previous clip had mostly been sorted and allocated for yarn or other customers. But we got there and the final cones were sent out to Belgium in the spring of this year.
We had seen photos from Paris Fashion Week in January, our main contact at Dries Van Noten kept us updated which was really lovely.
Occasionally, we’d be tagged in a post during the process of the collection coming together, for example, the photographer Jonnie Craig working on Selfridges look-book.
We also had a visit from Milou van Rossum, fashion director at Netherlands publication, NRC. She contacted us as she was writing an article on Shetland wool based around the Dries Van Noten collection. The day she arrived was cold, dull and rainy, not ideal conditions for being in the hill attempting to photograph Shetland sheep who will run to a safe distance just as soon as you think you’ve got the perfect shot! She asked lots of questions and was able to get a feel for the wildness of the landscape where Shetland sheep thrive best as our manager Derek, and myself (Kharis), took her on a tour up north to crofts at Collafirth.
Then just a couple of weeks ago Celebrity_Vice tagged us in an image on Instagram… and so it began…
A bit of Googling was in order… we will readily admit, we had no idea who Lil Uzi was! Anyway, it was great that our name, that of Shetland and Shetland wool was getting out to a different audience. A few shares on social media later and we had quite a few comments – customers, Shetlanders, friends and family – some asking, ‘Where can I buy one?!’, others concerned that this may be another example of a big designer misappropriating another’s design.
Chris Cope, for Shetland News, gave us an opportunity to put Shetlanders minds at rest and explain a little bit about it when he contacted Ella asking for a quote after seeing the social media (peerie)storm. You can read his article and Ella’s quote here.