Tom Morris’ latest collection recently hit the stores, so we decided to team up once again with them and ask their creative director and designer, James Aparicio, a few question about what’s in the past, present and future for the brand.
Just to quickly refresh you all on this, Tom Morris is a Scottish brand that takes inspiration from their golf origins established in St. Andrews in 1848 while bringing onto the table a great menswear selection that ranges from stylish outwear, to heritage blazers and tailored blazers.
To go along with the Q&A we made to James, we also did an editorial, featuring a total look from the Autumn/Winter 2014 collection, which is available on their website, in store (8 the links in St. Andrews) and at House of Fraser e-store.
Q: How did the journey for “Tom Morris” begin? We briefly talked before about the history of the great Golfer, but how did golf translate into fashion?
A: The brand itself is over 160 years old and was established in 1848 in St Andrews, Scotland when Tom Morris produced golf balls and repaired clubs.
St Andrews links who own the company gave me a brief of developing a golf heritage lifestyle brand and we wanted to be inspired not just by the heritage of Tom Morris but also Scotland and the environment of St Andrews. For us, this translates into a rugged but refined product using quality workmanship and premium materials. When you see the archive photos of Tom Morris playing golf he looked so cool in his tweeds and tartan over-shirts. It’s a very different look to the modern golfer.
Q: Can you talk us through the AW14 collection? We really love the Scottish adventure portrayed in the look book and we seriously think the brand is widening its fashion horizons. So, what’s the inspiration behind it?
A: The inspiration of this season was taken from the road trip Tom Morris made from St Andrews to Prestwick to take a new job. This influenced not just the product but also the shoot. A lot of the products were influenced by vintage pieces we found during our research but we then do a lot of development with the factories and mills to develop things further.
Q: What’s the future for “Tom Morris”? Shall we look out for you at London Collections Men anytime soon?
A: A/W14 is only the third season for Tom Morris and we are steadily growing an international customer base. The future is about growing with care – not to overstretch ourselves and to ensure we keep our identity. Showing at London collections is something that has been discussed as well as Pitti Uomo.
Q: We particularly like the outwear collection from the latest AW14 collection, and we noticed that the pea-coats are made in England, and that you are trying to increase production back in the UK, is that your plan for the next few collections, to focus on making high-quality brit-products with a Scottish twist?
A: We try to use UK production, fabrics and yarns where we can. A lot of our knitwear is made in Scotland and we are always looking for new UK factories. For us, being a Scottish brand and using UK manufacturing go hand in hand.
Q: Where do you take your inspiration from? What/who inspires “Tom Morris”?
A: We have the main identity of the brand that we keep for each season – golf heritage, natural, timeless but contemporary, and Scottish. Then we add a seasonal influence. It’s very much about what feels right for the brand and where we want to take it that season rather than chasing trends.
It’s important we keep a consistent look and evolve, as opposed to having a different look and feel each season. The inspiration for the season can come from either part of tom’s life story such as the road trip he made, an archive image of tom or an amazing vintage find. we are fortunate enough to have a photo archive of Tom Morris who provides us with endless inspiration.
Q: After fashion week in London, Paris and Milan, we are really excited to find out the brands vision for next year, Can you give out any details on the S/S15 collection?
A: S/S15 is a really nice move on from the previous seasons. We have just finished the photoshoot up in Scotland and had the pleasure of working with some amazing people. It looks so strong and is full of freshness and optimism. The season has a strong coastal influence to it and there is an emphasis on lightness of fabric and colour.
Q: Last but not least, we know that you are one of the very few Scottish fashion brands, as proud Scots, we noticed you recently registered the exclusive Tom Morris Tartan pattern, can you please tell us the cool story behind the colours and the lines that make it so unique?
A: We felt it important to have a tartan for the brand. This features in every collection and occasionally we do a seasonal recolour of it. It’s used not just in wools but also in cottons and linens.
The original tartan is a representation of Tom’s life:
*grey = St Andrews where Tom lived the majority of his years and it was often referred to as ‘Auld Grey Toun’
*purple = the colour of the heather that surrounds St Andrews,
*navy = the North Sea that washes against St Andrews
*four = the amount of over-checks that represent the number of Open Championship’s Tom won. We use it mainly as a trim and for linings and sometimes for a whole product.