This is Leith - this is our home where Kestin’s family have done business for over 100 years.

 You can get to any burgh of Edinburgh in 15 minutes, but they might as well be a world away. Leith is historically the working-class part of Edinburgh; a port that was once the centre of heavy industry and naval docks - known for the darker side of life.

The Leith Coat of Arms is all over our Burgh, showing the Virgin Mary and Child on a ship with a cloud above – the cloud is said to symbolise protection.

Lots of different depictions but the motto escroll always stays the same – PERSEVERE – like the nature of the Leith people, hardy and ready to keep on working no matter how difficult.

 Andrew Hare (Kestin’s great grandfather) – nicknamed the ‘Lightning Waiter’ along with his brother Willie, built up around 30 pubs in Edinburgh and Leith in the 1920 and 30s with many still around today – The Crown and Dolphin; The Beehive; and The Tynecastle Arms. ‘Hare’s’ in Duke Street was the most notorious; a circular working man’s bar with sawdust on the floor, while through the back was a white starched table cloth restaurant – well-dressed business men brushing past rowdy workmen to enjoy a three course silver service luncheon. They all knew each other but there was a strict protocol on who could enter the restaurant; everyone knew the rules; all knew their place.

“We haven't been able to travel for inspiration, so we looked at what we have all around us -  architecture, art, family. It’s not until you spend more time in an area and you take the time to really take it in and research that you appreciate what’s right under your nose. Persevere felt like a natural fit for the collection, the more I’ve discovered about my family and my heritage in the area the more I realise how connected I am to this Burgh. The synergy of Eduardo Paolozzi’s print work and the brutalist architecture in Leith has been a real discovery for me, and inspiration for colour and the embellishment in the collection which includes new quilting and embroidery techniques.”

- Kestin Hare, Creative Director 

Son of Leith, Eduardo Paolozzi has been an important source of inspiration for SS22. A Scottish sculptor and artist widely considered to be one of the pioneers of Pop Art. 

He was born in Leith 1924, grew up an Italian immigrant and a child of ice-cream parlour owners. Fascinated by modern machines and technology, Paolozzi’s most well-known work includes the original Pop-Art collage – I was a rich man’s Play Thing” in 1947, Surrealist bronze sculpture Cyclops in 1952 and extensive mosaics for Tottenham Court Road in 1979. We’ve narrowed in on Paolozzi’s print work from the 1970s with pastel colours, repeat patterns and geometric shapes.