The winning Huntsman tweed design packs a shocking surprise…

Huntsman Tweed Competition 2018

The winning Huntsman tweed design packs a shocking surprise…

Designer Kyle Dawney combines Savile Row tradition with a punk palette as his innovative combination of colours gets the nod from the judges…

Some companies will stick religiously to tried and tested formulae, reluctant to part from the traditional ways that have held them in stead for centuries. Savile Row tailors Hunstman, as their annual tweed competition reveals, are not such a company.

While remaining respectful of their 165-year history, Huntsman owner Pierre Lagrange also recognises that a key element of the brand has always been a willingness to innovate. And so it’s encouraging to see that the winner of the 2018 Huntsman Tweed Competition – announced following a judging lunch at 11 Savile Row that included June Sarpong, Marc Quinn, Eric Underwood and Tiger Chadwick – paid little lip service to conservative traditions.

Instead, Kyle Dawney’s winning design pushed the elegant herringbone pattern into a bold new space, combining dark navy with flashes of shocking pink, recalling the palette of punk as much as that of the Hebrides. Selected from a shortlist of 20 patterns, Dawney’s entry was praised for its visionary and brave approach.

Kyle Dawney's winning design for the 2018 Huntsman Tweed Competition

Kyle Dawney’s winning design for the 2018 Huntsman Tweed Competition

A graduate of Brunel University, with a degree in industrial and product design, Dawney describes himself as a ‘brand storyteller’ and has worked with everyone from Lee Broom and Geometry Global to The Walt Disney Company. ‘I really enjoyed creating a distinct contrast between the classic Glen Urquhart pattern and modern punchy colours,’ he says. ‘Using a simple check to keep the design familiar, I wanted a highlight to catch the eye, shifting the check into a unique pattern’.

The choice of colour came from searching through the Huntsman archives, where Dawney noted splashes of pink and loved how it added great depth against the dark formal navy. Dawney will now have his bespoke design brought to life, visiting the Isle of Islay to see his own 30m bolt of tweed fabric being produced on the loom. It will then will be stored at the Huntsman Savile Row store, where it can be used for a host of different garments across generations.

On announcing the award, Lagrange enthused that Dawney ‘is a passionate designer that isn’t afraid to push the boundaries – a simple yet bold design which I cannot wait to have made into my next pair of trousers!’.

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