Independent Edinburgh: Walker Slater (& Competition)

Friday, 30 March 2018

I'm filled with a sense of pride when I think about the variety and quality of Edinburgh's independent businesses. The city is brimming with inspiring entrepreneurs who take pride in delivering unique and high quality products to both Edinburgh locals and tourists. As I'm a firm believer in supporting local where possible, I thought it was high time I shone a light on these wonderful businesses on my blog. Coincidentally, the lovely folks at Walker Slater contacted me to see whether I'd be interested in running a competition in collaboration with them - naturally, I said yes and also asked whether I could interview them!

I recently popped into their ladieswear store on Victoria Street for a browse and to snap a few photos for this blog post. I have to say, the staff were extremely friendly and I thoroughly enjoyed browsing through their beautiful store. If you pop in be sure to also visit their second floor, which has windows overlooking the gorgeous Victoria Street, more ladieswear, and an adorable children's section.

Read on to hear a little bit more about the fabulous Walker Slater from Director Paul Walker and if you'd like to enter our competition to win a gorgeous woolly blanket click here before Thursday the 5th April 2018!

Interview with Director Paul Walker

1. What inspired you to start Walker Slater and do you have any advice for aspiring business owners?
Walker Slater was founded in the Scottish Highlands in 1989.
The landscape and colours of Scotland were very inspiring to me. The passion for creating clothing with rich traditional cloths comes from the idea that if clothing is stylish, yet practical and robust, it can allow you to be carelessly elegant. You can let yourself be, and have the confidence that what you are wearing will continue to look good. My advice would be - be yourself, be genuine and be open. I really enjoy having a strong team around me and take into consideration everyone's views on how we can move the business forward.

2. What do you think makes Walker Slater stand out?
Walker Slater has retained the use of heritage fabrics, working closely with Harris Tweed and developed beautiful, lightweight tweeds with mills in the Scottish Borders. I was keen that we moved away from the flat, thorn proof bright windowpanes, and make certain that no man-made fibres are used. The area we are often recognised for, is the cut of our suits and in particular, our jackets. We have really refined these and made the fits contemporary and stylish. Customers return time and time again due to the flattering style of our suits and unique ladieswear.

3. If you had to choose 3 of your current favourite products from the shop, what would they be and why?
I really enjoy the casualwear side of what we do; I am almost always in a pair of our British-made, Japanese salvage denim jeans. I also love our Italian brushed cotton shirts and a tweed gillet. This is good for keeping your body warm but also having freedom of movement in your arms.

4. How would you describe the shopping experience at Walker Slater?
At Walker Slater, we always wish for the shopping experience to be immersive, welcoming and informative. We don't see our team as sales staff, but stylists and personal shoppers who are there to advise customers as they know our product range really well and which suit is a good fit for different body shapes. An ill-fitting suit can really ruin a look, where as even a tricky body shape can be transformed with the correct tailoring. We really believe in helping everyone to feel confident and look their best.

5. What are a few of your favourite independent shops in Edinburgh?
I really like how many independent food outlets have been attracted to open in Edinburgh; some favourites of mine luckily feature on Victoria Street along side Walker Slater, those are La Barantine - a gorgeous French patisserie owned by my friend Vincent. The other, of course, is Ian Mellis which their outstanding selection of cheeses. In terms of clothing, I really like what the guys at Dicks in Stockbridge are doing.

6. If you had a whole day off, how would you spend it?
I enjoy visiting the galleries and museums in Edinburgh for inspiration. I have three children (the eldest who is currently running the Walker Slater Fulham store) I like spending time with them, my daughter and son are vegan so I've enjoyed exploring new places to eat such as Hula and Kalpna. Eating out in Edinburgh is great; Ondine and The Outsider are two of my favourites for dinner. I don't see Walker Slater as work, its really part of who I am, so I would most likely do some design or drawing also.

Hula Juice Bar, located a few doors down from Walker Slater
I just wanted to say a huge thanks to Walker Slater for partnering with me for this giveaway and taking the time to answer my interview questions! If you haven't visited one of their stores yet I'd highly recommend visiting one soon or check out their online store!

Walker Slater Stores

That's all for now, bye x

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