Chanel unveils jobs plan for Barrie Knitwear of Hawick

Chanel model wearing Barrie knitwear Lily Colling wearing Barrie knitwear. Photograph by Karl Lagerfeld.

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Chanel has unveiled plans to take on 100 new staff at its Borders knitwear factory over the next three years.

Chanel's fashion president, Bruno Pavlovsky, outlined the expansion plans when he addressed the workforce at Barrie Knitwear in Hawick.

He praised their efforts since the luxury goods firm bought Barrie from Dawson International in October 2012.

Mr Pavlovsky said the company need to fulfil healthy demand for its products.

Next month the Barrie brand of cashmere clothing will be launched, and will be sold at 40 major clothing stores around the world.

The company reports a healthy order book for the Barrie factory as a result of continued work for Chanel and other leading fashion labels.

'Amazing visibility'

Mr Pavlovsky said: "The visibility we have built up in the last 18 months with Barrie is amazing and we need to fulfil the demand and continue to develop.

"This is not a one-year development, it is 20 years and more. This is the beginning of something.

"We couldn't be doing all all we are without the experience and skills here."

He added: "The people here have been fantastic. They have been so supportive of all the developments, working extra shifts to build this extra success and to continue that we need to find new people. We need to recruit."

The 100 new jobs would add to the existing 176-strong workforce at Barrie Knitwear.

The Barrie collection has been designed by Chanel's Odile Massauger, modelled by Phil Collins' daughter Lily and photographed by Karl Lagerfeld.

'Important player'

Mr Pavlovsky said the development of the brand would "show the fashion crowd that Barrie is an important player in its own right."

A dedicated boutique will open in Paris in June with a London store also being considered.

Barrie sales director Clive Brown said: "We have got the strongest future of any textile company in Scotland because we have got a fantastic partner in Chanel."

He added that the recruitment of staff would include both experienced, skilled workers and young people.

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