The president of fashion for Chanel visited the Barrie Knitwear factory in Hawick’s Burnfoot last week, bringing with him good news.
Bruno Pavlovsky addressed the workforce, praising them for their efforts since Chanel took over the business from Dawson International in October 2012.
He also announced that 100 new staff will be taken on over the next three years.
The launch of the Barrie brand of cashmere clothing, which is being shipped out in May to 40 of the most prestigious clothing stores in the world, and continued work for Chanel and other leading fashion labels, means increasing work for the Barrie workforce.
Speaking to The Southern, Mr Pavlovsky said: “The visibility we have built up in the last 18 months with Barrie is amazing, and we need to fulfil the demand and continue to develop.
“This is not a one-year development, it is 20 years and more. This is the beginning of something.”
Clive Brown, sales director for Barrie, added: “We have got the strongest future of any textile company in Scotland because we have got a fantastic partner in Chanel.”
He added that the recruitment of staff will include both experienced, skilled workers and young people.
The firm already works with Hawick High School to provide at least four apprenticeships a year.
The Barrie collection has been designed by Chanel’s Odile Massuger, modelled by Lily Collins, and photographed by Karl Lagerfeld.
Mr Pavlovsky said the development of the brand would “show the fashion crowd that Barrie is an important player in fashion in its own right”.
A dedicated boutique will open in Paris in June, with a London store also being considered.
Mr Pavlovsky said:“We couldn’t be doing all we are without the experience and skills here.
“The people here have been fantastic. They have been so supportive of all the developments, working extra shifts to build this extra success, and to continue that we need to find new people. We need to recruit.”