International Women's Day is an annual celebration and recognition of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. Each year IWD raises awareness of the inequality between genders: challenging stereotypes, fighting bias, broadening perceptions and improving situations of women around the world.

We are proud to support the initiatives and celebrations of International Women’s Day: every day throughout Pringle’s history women have contributed to the success of our company, from makintg garments and designing collections through to our roster of brilliant ambassadors, directors and collaborators who have kept this 205 year-old brand evolving.

As the inventor of the cashmere ‘twinset’ it is no wonder that Pringle was the first choice of some of the twentieth century’s leading women. In particular, stars of the stage and silver screen including Grace Kelly, Margot Fonteyn and Anne Crawford wore and supported Pringle publicly, and in their private lives.

Anne Crawford

Margot Fontayn

Grace Kelly

Anne Crawford was a British film actress, brought up in Edinburgh, clearly proud of her Scottish ancestry and a long-time wearer of Pringle. Margot Fonteyn was a guest of honour in Pringle’s showrooms during the 1950s, in particular ahead of the Sadler’s Wells Ballet Company tour of America, when members of the company spent time with Pringle choosing knitwear to take with them.

We are delighted to have had the iconic Princess Grace of Monaco as a devoted wearer of Pringle during her life and career. A simple black cashmere Pringle cardigan, lovingly passed on to her eldest daughter, Princess Caroline, was a centrepiece of an exhibition celebrating 200 years of Pringle in 2015. The princess was one of several Hollywood leading ladies who publicly endorsed the brand and favoured the practical and elegant twinsets for many public events, but it is also known from rare family photos and home videos that she frequently dressed in Pringle outfits when off camera, and they were a constant feature in her private wardrobe.

Another of our proud moments came in 2009 when we started working with award winning actress Tilda Swinton, who became the face of Pringle across the globe. Tilda starred in campaigns, short films and collaborated with us on product for our 195th anniversary.

Photo by Ryan McGinley

Pringle continues to collaborate with pioneering, creative and forward-thinking women across our industry. Imogen Russon-Taylor is a new friend to the brand and the founder of the first luxury perfume house in Scotland: Kingdom Scotland. Like us, she is continually inspired by the ancient stories and natural beauty of the Scottish landscape and her perfumes capture the stories, experiences and dramatic contrasts of a land that enthrals the imagination.

In your experience, how does fashion support or champion women?

For me, fashion as a woman, is many things: self-expression, confidence, artistry, joy, frivolity, memories and sometimes just simple comfort. I have clothes in my wardrobe from my mother and grandmother which I love, all very special items with cherished memories. I still think we have much more fashion freedom as women – and this is something I enjoy and embrace.

Tell us about a women who inspires you.

I am truly inspired by a little-known explorer called Isobel Wylie Hutchison, who I came across through my work with the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. Isobel was an Arctic traveller during the 1920s and 1930s. She was also a botanist, a writer, a poet, an artist and speaker of numerous languages.

Isobel was an incredible woman born before her time in 1889. She was only 26 when she first ventured on a solo trip to the Arctic. She was the first woman to receive the Royal Scottish Geographic prize; she was the writer in residence at National Geographic and much, much more. Isobel was a woman ahead of her era. I believe the expanse of the Arctic environment inspired her with a deep sense of freedom and escape, plus a love of silence and space only an iced landscape can provide. This fuelled her creativity to write poetry, paint the landscape and even produce early film footage of her travels. I was so inspired by her story and bold life experience that I created a scent in celebration of her life and work.

I support IWD because... it is a collective day of global celebration, a day to celebrate the achievements of women in the past, present and future - a day of unity calling for equality.

Julia Melbourne founded celebrity, events and communications consultancy, Iris Public Relations and works with international luxury brands from her base in Los Angeles. Julia began working with us in 2019 on our VIP dressing programme and is responsible for many of our #SeenInPringle sightings.

In your experience, how does fashion support or champion women?

The industry has improved a lot over the last few years and is beginning to represent women and wider issues in a more diverse way. There is still much to be done but already there has been such a noticeable shift and even bigger houses are playing their part.

Who is your female role model and why?

My grandmother is one of my biggest inspirations. She moved overseas and away from family when she was 20 and at a time where it was very uncommon for women to do so. Having made a similarly distant move myself at a time when communication and travel is so easy, the challenges that she must have faced and conquered alone never cease to amaze me.

Other women who inspire me include Tracey Emin and Adwoa Aboah; both fearless, thought- provoking women who have fought to be themselves. In turn they have given other women a voice to discuss issues in a more open and authentic way.

I support IWD because... it’s important that we take a moment in our busy lives to acknowledge women throughout history and present-day who are taking a stance and using their voices to empower female generations.