It feels like we were only there for a ‘New York Minute’! Our time in New York City has come to an end. We had an incredible time at our kilt fitting service and loved meeting so many of our clients at our studio in the heart of Manhattan. We already can’t wait to do it all over again!
America has always been special to MacGregor and MacDuff. In 1979, we were founded by an American businessman and a Scottish kiltmaker and so, to celebrate our 40th anniversary, going to New York to host our first ever international fitting service was a very special experience for us! Over the 5 days, we met so many clients who were so enthusiastic about Highlandwear and the history behind their outfits. We were delighted to showcase the quality and craftsmanship of MacGregor and MacDuff to the residents of New York, and were thrilled the excitement was mutual!
At our personalised kilt fittings, we discussed with each client their desired tartans whilst they enjoyed a wee dram of whisky. We then moved on to talking through each individual part of their kilt outfit, before our senior stylist professionally measured them to ensure their outfit is a perfect fit! One of the most enjoyable aspects of our time in New York was getting to research each client’s family history, as many of our clients wanted to embrace their clan history and their family tartans. Clan tartans are a fantastic way to celebrate your heritage and it was great that so many of our American clients chose MacGregor and MacDuff to help them celebrate their Scottish roots!
“An Evening with MacGregor and MacDuff”
Whilst in New York, we also had the pleasure of delivering an exclusive talk to members of the New York Caledonian Club at our special “An Evening With MacGregor and MacDuff” event. Held in the Resident’s Lounge at 959 1st Avenue, the talk walked New York Caledonian Club members through the history and evolution of the kilt, from the original “Feileadh Mhór”, “Big Wrap”, all the way through to the professionally tailored kilt that we all know and love today!
As a special part of the evening, we also provided the audience with a live demonstration of how the original Great Kilt was prepared, pleated and worn. Laying down the full length of tartan cloth that becomes the kilt, the ancient Highlanders would carefully fold a section of the cloth into pleats. Then, they would lie on the cloth and wrap it around their waist, securing it with a belt before standing up and wrapping the remaining material around their shoulder for the iconic look!
We also reenacted the ancient tradition of handfasting, a much loved part of a Scottish Wedding ceremony. A handfasting is a unique and special way of symbolising the joining together of two clans, two clan tartans were placed over the couple’s hands and tied together, giving rise to the phrase “Tying the knot”!
We had a fantastic time meeting the members of the New York Caledonian Club and thoroughly enjoyed providing them with some more insight into our Scottish traditions!
We’ll be back...
Our time in New York was a tremendous success and it truly was fantastic to meet all of our clients at our kilt fittings and hear about their love of Highlandwear! We’re already looking forward to coming back to New York for Tartan Week in April 2020 and enjoying the uniquely Scottish celebrations.
We had a great time at Tartan Week in April 2019, watching the Tartan Parade being led by Sir Billy Connolly, and can’t wait to come back on what’ll be a particularly momentous anniversary, the 700th anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath.