The Gathering 8: Scot Street Style

Gordon Millar and Scot Street Style bring the Gathering home to Edinburgh for its eighth event, as creatives converge to establish Scottish fashion as a global force

Preview by Fern Logue | 30 Jun 2015

Social media empresario Gordon Millar and his rapidly growing brain-child, the Scot Street Style movement, are set to continue their quest of Scottish fashion domination on 4 July as the movement returns to the capital for The Gathering 8 at the newly established creative arts and fashion hub, The Biscuit Factory. The venue, home to Youth Juice and the Scottish Fashion Creative Network, will host the next in the series of Gatherings, which aim to bring creative minds together to forge new collaborative connections.

The last Gathering, held Stateside in Brooklyn, New York, saw Scot Street Style make a homecoming of sorts, with the movement returning to the city in which its concept was born. A series of coincidences that occurred in 2013 when Millar was in New York promoting the World Peace Tartan caused the spark which rapidly grew, establishing the phenomenon that is Scot Street Style. Gordon Millar remembers a chance encounter with the street-style legend and New York Times fashion photographer, Bill Cunningham, who captured a shot of him in his lilac World Peace Tartan trews. Combine this encounter with the flourishing of Instagram and the penchant for beards of the time (Millar sports a magnificent example) and the Scot Street Style team were on to a winner. After this experience in New York, and as the movement grew, it was Millar’s "burning ambition to bring our progressive global community back to the greatest metropolis on Earth" where it all began. The innovation and authenticity of the Scottish creative circle has found a perfect partner in New York, and Millar describes his return home after the New York event as "bursting with that Brooklyn buzz."

The rapidly growing creative community (community being key to the movement’s ethos) of Scot Street Style provides a platform for the open expression of ideas and the bringing together of like-minded people from a variety of fields to share, socialise and collaborate. The Gatherings aim to establish connections and unite those who may not have otherwise had a chance to meet or work together – both individuals and businesses; up-and-comers and established names. At the heart of the movement is the desire to reinvigorate the perception of Scotland around the world and to focus on the thriving talent based in the country. Neill Connell Forgie of The Biscuit Factory notes the potential that the Gathering at his new venue has to highlight Scotland’s "international reputation as a centre for excellence in fashion and design."

The movement not only uses these unique events but also social media, particularly Instagram, to bring creatives together and to place their work in the spotlight. Millar believes that "Scot Street Style turns social media into social reality" by "meeting the people behind the images on our smartphone screens." The movement makes use of social media as a powerful tool to communicate, connect and create on a global scale, allowing creatives to reach out and grow their ideas and businesses world-wide. Scot Street Style’s online presence is only getting stronger with the movement recently surpassing 10,000 Instagram followers.

Scot Street Style is a community based on drive and ambition – something which Millar also found in New York, commenting that "the drive and positive attitude in the land of opportunity was overwhelming, combined with the high level of stimulation from the surrounding sights and sounds." Positivity is key to a Scot Street Style Gathering, with the focus on talking, sharing ideas and exploring new creative outlets, rather than the often stifling and intimidating ‘networking.’ Millar describes the events as a "level playing field, where everyone is invited to actively participate," and previous events have led to high levels of exposure and success for Scotland’s creatives.

The buzz surrounding the New York event has made July’s Gathering in Edinburgh hotly anticipated. The event on 4 July, sponsored by the Biscuit Factory and Innis & Gunn, will not only provide an opportunity to meet other creatives, but it will showcase Scotland’s creative output through a fashion show and exhibition of photographic works on the night. There really is a sense that there is a movement happening here in Scotland, a movement to pull together our creative skill, knowledge and reach to promote Scotland’s fashion and design talent, and to elevate Scottish cities to the level of the world’s fashion capitals with the Gathering acting as the perfect catalyst.

What’s next for Millar and Scot Street Style? World domination it seems, with the intention to firmly cement Scotland’s place as a centre for fashion, design and creativity. Following the return to Edinburgh for July’s Gathering, Scot Street Style will be heading to the states again for back-to-back events in Los Angeles and New York in April 2016. #Onward!

The Gathering takes place at The Biscuit Factory, Edinburgh, 4 Jul from 7pm. Free entry @ScotStreetStyle