Scottish Brands

BBC The Social: Illuminate

I am so excited to finally be able to share a project I’ve been working on for the BBC; Illuminate, a series of 12 mini documentaries about Scottish designers and artists. Together with the most hard-working twenty-something I know, cinematographer Perry Jonsson. I’m so proud of what we achieved, and really enjoyed being involved in project based on supporting local creatives, a subject of true passion for me, and working with a talented friend was the icing on the cake. 

Here is the very first episode of BBC The Social: Illuminate, featuring Mark Vice. A talented pop-artist, Glasgow-based Mark Vice translates fashion into paintings complete with embellishments and glitter and everything a fashionista could want. 

From Karl Lagerfeld to the Ab-Fab girls, Mark covers popular culture in a wonderfully unique way, using delicate paint splatters and drip art to build an iconic image. His work is available at The Scottish Design Exchange, and you can check out his Instagram here (he also rocks Pinterest). 

I hope you have enjoyed this wee video and look forward to the others, which will be coming out weekly on the BBC Social Facebook Page

Ruth @ Urbanity xxx

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101 Scottish Designers

I like to think that over the past year or two I’ve gathered a plentiful bank of knowledge on local designers, so here is my master-list of 101 (yes, it took me a while!) of my favourite Scottish or Scotland-based fashion designers, both menswear and womenswear, textile and knitwear designers, and jewellers. 


1. Birds of Prayers

2. Suk Wan Chan

3. Rowanjoy

4. Saunt and Sinner

5. Ryan Cowie

6. Rachel McMillan

7. Mairi McDonald

8. Emily Millichip

9. Isolated Heroes

10. Barbra Kolasinski

11. Nicci N

12. C. Watson

13. Morag MacPherson

14. Mischke Lingerie

15. Mister Thread

16. Squint

17. Leanne McFadyen

18. Hayley McSporran

19. Never Monday

20. Lizzie O Boutique

21. Distortia

22. Belinda Robertson

23. Iona Crawford

24. Kirsteen Stewart

26. Elizabeth Martin Tweed

27. Rebecca Torres

28. Totty Rocks

29. Lime Blonde

30. Siobhan McKenzie

31. Isolated Heroes

32. Holly Fulton

33. Liz Black

34. Kerrie Aldo

35. G69

36. Cats Brothers

37. Charles Jeffrey

38. Native Tongue

39. Hidden Stag

40. The Tailor Retailored

41. Kestin Hare

42. Oddly Normal

43. KellyDawn Riot

44. Ten30

45. Buchanan Bespoke

46. New Bedford

47. Jaggy Nettle

48. M.G Gabriel

49. Esk

50. Rosie Sugden

51. We are Rushworth

52. Eribe

53. Cross Cashmere

54. Yellow Bubble

55. Green Thomas

56. Brora

57. Hilary Grant

58. Edition Scotland


59. Wendy Morrisson
60. Mimi Hamill
61. Aimee Kent
62. Niki Fulton
63. Mairi Helena
64. MYB
65. Laura Spring
66. Risotto Studio
67. Timorous Beasties
68. Hatty Pattison

69. Instrmnt
70. Tom Pigeon
71. Kirsty Dalton
72. Objectified
73. Vi.S
74. Willow
75. Bonnie Bling
76. Jo Podelko
77. Source Design
78. Lia B
79. Polymorphics
80. Euan McWhirter
81. Tubular
82. Rebecca Sarah Black
83. Vonne Alley
84. Sheila Kerr
85. Gilly Langton

86. Silken Favours
87. Kerr Watson
88. Catherine Aitken
89. Silk Self
90. Strathberry
91. Victoria Leisa Bowles
92. Karen Mabon
93. Rhodesian of Edinburgh
94. Sleekit
95. Rie + Mil
96. Heather Margaret Grace
97. Nu Blvck
98. Bebaroque
99. Trakke
100. Kitsch Me Vintage
101. Helen Ruth

Organisations like The Scottish Design Exchange, Scotland:Redesigned, Craft Scotland, Local Heroes and Wear Eponymous are fantastic for supporting, promoting and celebrating local designers and artists, but without customers, these creative talents are forced to close and go back to the day job. My work and of course my blog aims to encourage people to #shoplocal, so I hope this post helps you lovely readers to discover and explore emerging labels based right here in Scotland. 

Ruth @ Urbanity xxx
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PaisleyMake Design Festival

PaisleyMake is a new festival of creativity aiming to encouraging people to reconnect with  the heritage and explore the future of textiles and design, in the original home of the iconic Paisley pattern.  Last week I was invited to the blogger preview of the event, which involved a tour of the beautiful Paisley Museum and it’s huge extensive pattern archives within the fascinating environment of huge ancient weaving looms. In addition we had the opportunity to network with industry professionals and view exhibitions and participate in workshops from emerging Scottish fashion, jewellery and interior designers as part of Scotland Redesigned at Paisley Abbey. Finally, my favourite part, we attended an inspiring talk by former Glasgow student Penny Martin, editor-in-cheif of one of the industry’s most intellectual and informed women’s magazines, The Gentlewoman. I even sat next to her in the FROW! 

The festival, consisting of four days of workshops across Renfrewshire celebrating the history of textiles within the area, and encouraging people of all ages to get creative, is part of Paisley’s bid to become the UK City of Culture 2021. To find out more about this initiative, follow @Paisley2021 on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, and explore the #Paisley2021 and #PaisleyMake hashtags. I’ve been involved with Scotland Redesigned projects before and love what they do for the Scottish fashion industry, so I was thrilled that they have partnered with the town, and exhibited their fantastic members to the public in a contemporary, shoppable environment, and even the talented bunch from design incubator Fashion Foundry took part!

Sometimes, opportunities come my way as a Scottish Blogger that I feel hesitant they will be a) relevant to my blog, and b) actually enjoyable/interesting to me as a person. Nobody likes wasting their time getting dolled up for a disappointing event that often involves a lot of travel. Sometimes though, I take a risk and it pays off (big time), in this case, it was an invitation to the blogger preview at Paisley Make. Never having travelled to the small town on the outskirts of Glasgow, and not being hugely interested in textile heritage, I didn’t expect much, but it turned out to be one of  the best networking events I’ve been to, and super inspirational career-wise too, which is timely considering I’ve just started a new university course and I’m getting involved in some exciting new projects,  so I’m feeling really amped up about my future in fashion! Stay tuned for a blog post all about The Gentlewoman soon!

Ruth @ Urbanity xxx
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Scottish Girl Bosses

I’ve been thinking a lot about my future career lately, so I thought I would compile a list of the talented, creative and utterly unstoppable businesswomen in Scotland that inspire and motivate me. 

First off we have Ellie Morag. Probably a favourite photographer within the Edinburgh and Glasgow fashion community, Ellie has photographed for Edinburgh Fashion Week, the ECA Fashion Show, Hunted Vintage, Deadsleekit, Kestin Hare, Scot Street Style. and so many more. And she’s probably one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. What’s not to love?
Check out this talented gal’s website at

Isla Ratcliff

I first came across Isla when my mother, who is a mental health specialist, met her at a body image/eating disorders forum, and introduced herself as the Managing Director of a model agency which supports healthy bodies. I then went on to interview Isla over at The Question Cove and eventually ended up becoming interning for her company, Superior Model Management in Glasgow. Just one look at their website and you know she means business. 

Kirstie Barlow

Fellow Edinburgh blondie Kirstie is stirring up a social media storm with her handmade business, Happy Place Cosmetics, which she single-handedly runs like a total boss. Queen of instagram e-commerce, Kirstie sells amazing vegan, ethical, natural skincare products with the most amazing smells. See my review of a bundle I ordered from Happy Place Cosmetics here. I can’t wait to see what this budding beauty brand has in store for the future! #shoplocal

Claire Stuart McArthur

If you are floating around in the Scottish blog-o-sphere bubble, you will definitely have come across Claire. I mean, you can’t really miss her hair! But if she’s a newbie to you, check out her blog Bee Waits For No One, and prepare to be scrolling through her archives for hours, full of fabulous fashion, and fearless writing. Claire was also part of Betty and Bee with fellow famous fashion blogger Sheri Scott, who blogs at Forever Yours Betty.

Nicole Perry

Nicole Perry is not only a big business cheese with a nomination for a Young Banker of the Year 2016 award, she also runs her own Vintage Fashion company, Hunted Vintage. I went along to the brand’s launch and it was one of the best blogger events I’ve been to. Since then, Nicole’s passion project has been growing even more successful amongst fashionistas from near and far. See my post all about the SS/16 Hunted collection here!

Lynzi Leroy

Lynzi is not only a #girlboss, she is MY boss! This inspirational business woman hired me at The Scottish Design Exchange in January to launch the SDX Fashion department and run social media and events, and since then I have been in awe of everything she has achieved and is capable of. She has an impressive heap of experience in the creative and technological industries, and started SDX just last year with no help or funding. I would not be where i am today without Lynzi, neither would this business and the team that runs it. 

Marie Owen

When I first moved to Edinburgh, Marie took me on as an intern at her company LS Productions. Back then I thought she was bloody awesome (see my interview with Marie here) but a few years on I am frankly blown away. LS Productions is not only The UK’s largest stills and motion Service Production Company, with a huge client base across every industry you can think of, but they have now gone global and officially broken into US territory. Whats more, the head office in Leith is the most beautifully decorated, empowering and friendly environment I’ve ever worked in. The only way is up.

And finally, last but not least, Sophia Chan (Fashion Designer at Suk Wan Chan), Georgia Gordon (Model and Musician) and Akvile Su (Model and Jeweller at Objectified Jewellery). Who are your favourite #girlbosses?

Ruth @ Urbanity xxx

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10 Scottish Artists to fall in love with

This incredible Karl Lagerfeld portrait with extra added pink fabulousness is my the talented Mark Vice, and it will be mine one day, I’m sure of it.

My most colourful post in a while, scroll on to see my top ten favourite Scotland-based visual artists and painters. 

The best part? The work of all these wonderful artists is available to buy at The Scottish Design Exchange

I am in love with all this gorgeous artwork and want to decorate my new flat with them all. I’m sure you will love them too, but let me know your favourite in the comments!

1. Mark Vice

2. Michael Dawson 
3. Wendy Helliwell 

4. Jon Canty 

5. Emma Westwater (Source Design) 
6. Chris Kidd and Mikey Mathieson (Embryonic Art) 
7. Edd Wellesley-Davies (Eddscape) 
8. Ester Cohen 
9. Karl Stern 
10. Daryl McKee, Olivia Turner and Karen Fleming (DOK artists)

Ruth @ Urbanity xxx

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