Chanel saved nearly 200 jobs in the Scottish Borders on Wednesday when the fashion house announced its acquisition of Barrie Knitwear, one of Scotland’s oldest cashmere-makers. The Hawick-based mill, which has produced Chanel’s cashmere knitwear for a quarter of a decade, was in danger of shuttering after its parent company, 140-year-old textiles conglomerate Dawson International, went into administration earlier this year due to pension liabilities. The sale secures the jobs of all 176 employees and “safeguards a historic brand known for the manufacture of high-quality cashmere for some of the world’s most prestigious couture houses,” according to Bruno Pavlovsky, Chanel’s fashion president, who adds that the firm’s current management will stay in place and uphold all existing contracts without exclusivity.
“The acquisition of Barrie business by Chanel is all the more natural as the factory has worked with us for more than 25 years, producing cashmere knitwear including Chanel’s iconic two-tone cashmere cardigans,” Pavlovsky says. “Through this acquisition, we reaffirm our commitment to traditional expertise and craftsmanship, and our wish to safeguard their future and support their development.”
Barrie has produced cashmere knits for Chanel for more than 25 years, including its iconic two-tone cardigans.
Following Italian shoemaker Roveda, Barrie Knitwear is the second foreign company to be acquired by Chanel. Since 1985, the house has purchased nine high-end firms known for their artisanal craftsmanship, including the embroiderer Lesage, bootmaker Massaro, milliner Michel, and glovemaker Causse.
[Via British Vogue]