Friday, 3 January 2014

Interview | Sarah Robinson

In November last year our attention was drawn to Robinson & Dapper, a Scottish-owned brand based in Denmark, which creates and sells luxury handmade bow ties, skinny neck ties and pocket squares, created with a blend of traditional Scottish woollen fabrics and Danish design simplicity.

We managed to catch up with the very stylish Sarah Robinson, founder of Robinson & Dapper, for a brief chat about herself and the brand, to gain more of an insight into what Robinson & Dapper is all about, and where it all began, for this clearly motivated, dedicated, and successful women.

Sarah grew up in a small village called Denholm – about an hour south of the Scottish capital Edinburgh. In this area, close to the border with England, wool is one of the biggest industries. As a girl, Sarah Robinson was surrounded by wool-wearing men and by the many woollen mills in the area known as 'Scottish Borders'. She gradually grew an interest in both designs and fabrics, and started making clothing for herself.

The idea to mix traditional Scottish woollen fabrics with Danish design simplicity came when she was admiring the tie of a dapperly dressed Danish friend. It was at that moment she got her inspiration to pair Scotland and Denmark.

An Interview With Sarah Robinson

Who are you and what is your role in the company?
I'm a Scot, who has been living in Denmark for the past 5 years and founder/owner/designer at Robinson & Dapper.

What is the first thing you do when you get to work?
Once a freshly brewed coffee is in hand, my day usually starts of with answering emails and updating our social media accounts.
Where did the inspiration come from, for you to start up Robinson & Dapper, and create the stylish, quality accessories you do?
I've always had a strong interest in tailoring, and as the trend of dressing 'dapper' re-emerged over recent years, I was inspired by the thought of using the luxurious heritage wool fabrics I grew up around in Scotland in designing accessories for men.  I'm a strong believer in knowing where your purchases are manufactured and in investing in quality items, so the concept made complete sense to me from the start.

We are in agreement with you on that Sarah. We to believe that it is important to know where and how your purchase was made. It also makes much more sense to invest in something of quality, that will stand the test of time. Having said that, could you tell us a bit about the materials and processes used to create your products?
All of the fabrics used in the creation of Robinson & Dapper products are woven in Scotland, from Scottish wool. They are woven by internationally-renowned mills using traditional methods, resulting in some of the highest quality textiles available in the world. We have chosen each mill for their respective weaving specialities in twill, tweed and lambswool. These fabrics are shipped to our workshop here in Denmark, where each item is carefully handmade with great attention to detail.

What is a typical working day like at Robinson & Dapper HQ?
At the moment there are two of us working full time at the workshop and the mood is always high.  Once I have dealt with emails and social media updates, I process the previous day's orders and then get down to the most enjoyable part of my job, which is the creation of our products. 

Is there a Robinson & Dapper brick & mortar store, or is all of your products sold on your website and through stockists?
At the moment we don't have a brick & mortar store. We sell through our web-shop and have stockists across Europe. We launched just over half a year ago, and there is a lot of work to be done in these beginning stages with establishing our brand, so there are no immediate plans for us to open a physical store, but it is definitely something we will consider in the future. 

What is it that you hope to achieve with Robinson & Dapper?
My immediate aspirations are to establish Robinson & Dapper as a leading, luxury men's accessories brand and to grow our customer base worldwide. We also want to raise awareness of the benefits of buying products from small companies who put emphasis on quality and craftsmanship. We just won MGE Magazine's first ever 'Best British Brand' award, so 2014 has started well for us in this regard!

Congratulations, a great start to a New Year. Finally Sarah, what are your plans for Robinson & Dapper in the future?
We are launching our SS'14 collection in the next few weeks, which we're very excited about as it includes many new exciting fabrics and designs. With this collection, we plan to extend our list of stockists to include some international stores. Progress in this first few months has been very fast, so it will be exciting to see where we are when we hit our 1st anniversary in May!


Thank you Sarah for taking the time out of a very hectic schedule to chat with us. We are very fond of Robinson & Dapper and everything it stands for, and what your trying to achieve. Quality and care is shown in everything you do, from the products, packaging, to your website. We wish you all the best for your future plans, and we will be here keeping an eye on Robinson & Dapper to see how it all turns out.ACM

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