PAISLEY has teamed up with a prestigious French fashion house to help reconnect the town to the global design icon carrying its name.

Paris-based luxury goods manufacturer Hermès has used original Paisley Pattern designs owned by the town to create exclusive ‘Paisley from Paisley’ items for its silk and accessories 2019 spring/summer collections.

The name Paisley became known around the world in the 18th and 19th centuries when its weavers perfected the iconic patterned garments which became a fashion craze among Europe’s wealthy middle classes, with the pattern remaining popular to this day.

Christine Duvigneau, director with Hermès, was in charge of artistic direction and the development of this project alongside the silk department. 

Mme. Duvigneau said: “We were delighted to collaborate with Paisley and hope our designs will serve as an ambassador for Paisley worldwide.” 

Paisley Museum retains the world’s largest collection of Paisley shawls plus thousands of original designs, which have inspired new items now on sale in Hermès stores around the world and online.

A team from Maison Hermès last year visited Paisley’s Museum and 850-year-old abbey, and selected designs now adapted into a cashmere chale scarf, a silk gavroche scarf, and a bangle.

Versions of the gavroche and bangle are being donated to the town, to be displayed and archived at Paisley Museum, set to reopen in 2022 after a major £42m transformation.

Dr Dan Coughlan, textiles curator at Paisley Museum, added: "During the 18th and 19th centuries, Paisley was one of the leading towns in Europe for the manufacture of high-quality fashion fabrics.

“The fine silk gauzes and figured muslins of the 18th century, followed by the 19th century shawl, were in demand in all the fashion circles of Europe. Much of the legacy of this great textile tradition is now preserved in Paisley Museum. 

“The textile collection in the museum holds what is thought to be the largest collection of shawls in the world, together with many pattern and sample books, including those which so inspired the incredible Hermès design team.

“This collaboration shows the extraordinarily rich and varied collection can be used by today's designers to continue Paisley’s tradition of creating beautiful high-quality textiles with provenance, while raising awareness of the town’s internationally-significant story.”

The project was born thanks to Penny Martin, editor-in-chief of The Gentlewoman magazine, who contacted Hermès after a visit to the town to view its collections as a keynote speaker for 2016’s PaisleyMake textiles and fashion conference and festival.