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The Doctor; Timelord, Hero, Oncoming Storm and er...Fashion Icon??

Lee Tuesday, 19 October 2010 , ,
Well, we all knew it was a bit risky but it looks like the gamble paid off. It seems Matt Smith's Doctor is about to start a fashion the form of TWEED???

(from Sky News)

A traditional Scottish fabric popular with affluent country dwellers is to be sold on the high street for the first time after a collaboration with fashion store Topman.

One of the producers of Harris Tweed has teamed up with the chain to create a more youthful line amid renewed interest in the cloth, thanks in part to actor Matt Smith's wardrobe.

The material, which is exclusively woven in the Outer Hebrides, was once seen as a traditional premium brand and struggled to the point of extinction in 2006, when a mill on the Isle of Lewis closed. But it was reopened by Harris Tweed Hebrides a year later and the recent use of the cloth by designers such as Alexander McQueen, Yves St Laurent and Chanel has seen its popularity soar. It is now being sold in 50 countries worldwide.

However, it is Smith - who sports a tweed jacket and bow tie as the time-travelling character - who is credited with bringing tweed to an entirely new audience.

Mary McGowne, organiser of the Scottish Style Awards - which honoured Harris Tweed Hebrides last year - credited the company and the regulatory Harris Tweed Authority with transforming the cloth's image. "The work that has been done to promote its unique qualities, combined with key product placement, including Matt Smith and his geek-chic look, has bestowed real kudos on the fabric," she said.

The new collaboration will see Harris Tweed blazers, coats and accessories stocked at Topman - part of Sir Philip Green's empire - and priced to suit a mid-market shopper. The range will include blazers, coats and accessories

Jason Griffiths, Topman marketing director, told Sky News: "We are extremely excited about the launch of our collaboration with Harris Tweed. "As well as coinciding with their 100-year anniversary, we feel this partnership will bring Harris Tweed to a whole new audience." Harris Tweed Hebrides CEO Ian Mackenzie told Sky News the company was celebrating a 50% increase in output this year compared with the same time last year. But the surge in demand has pushed the price of wool up by 50%. "Quality wool products are in fashion at the moment," explained Sky News business contributor Russell Luckock. "Material prices are rising. By way of illustration, Lesley Prior, an Exmoor sheep farmer, producing high quality fleeces, is getting £10 per kilo for her product, as against the normal wool marketing price of £0.75 - £2.50 per kg."