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A New Heritage

March 26, 2024|Stewart Christie

Inside the atelier and workshop of Stewart Christie, Edinburgh’s oldest tailor, where new owners Vixy Rae and Daniel Fearn are blending tradition with a modern approach

Founded in 1720, Stewart Christie is Scotland’s oldest tailor. Located on Queen Street in Edinburgh’s New Town, entering the Victorian-era store is like stepping back in time with a modern twist. While certain traditions remain in keeping with the past, Vixy Rae and Daniel Fearn, who a few years ago became the new co-owners, have also wrought changes.  

a tweed suit and shirts and jumpers in a vintage shop at Stewart Christie
Vixy Rae stands in the Stewart Christie doorway in Edinburgh

Womenswear has been added, along with a hidden stash of whiskey behind a mirror in the fitting room. Clients can also stay in the Chaumer Abide, a bedroom owned and designed by the Stewart Christie team. Outside the store, a red telephone box has been decorated to raise funds for Save the Children. 

Upstairs in the workshop, the tailors still, as they always have, measure and cut the tweed and heritage fabrics with chalk and scissors. However, the predominately bespoke experience today has a light touch of informality and a sense of playfulness. Tradition and heritage still take centre stage in the fabric and process, but Vixy and Daniel have brought their own personalities and woven themselves into the long and illustrious story of this most venerable of institutions. 

a different angle of a man cutting fabric at Stewart Christie

Vixy’s passion for Scottish cloth can be found in the pages of her book, The Art of Tweed, which explores the story of tweed from weaver to wearer. Her second book, The Secret Life of Tartan, charts the origin of tartan and how it has gone on to shape Scotland’s cultural identity. 

As Stewart Christie’s clients begin their own journey into the world of sartorial elegance, Vixy and Daniel act as both custodians and expert guides in an ongoing dialogue between fabric, craft and heritage.

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