French fashion house Chanel has bought Scottish cashmere knitwear manufacturer Barrie Knitwear out of administration, securing all 176 jobs. Barrie Knitwear was part of the Dawson International Group, which was placed into
administration in August due to its failure to come to an agreement with the Pension Regulator and the Pension Protection Fund to deal with a significant deficit in the Group Pension Scheme.
Pavlovsky, Chanel’s Fashion President, said: “The acquisition of Barrie business by Chanel is all the more natural as the factory has worked with us for more than 25 years, producing cashmere knitwear including Chanel’s iconic two-tone cashmere cardigans.
“Through this acquisition, we reaffirm our commitment to traditional expertise and craftsmanship, and our wish to safeguard their future and support their development.”
The move not only secures the jobs of all its employees but also safeguards the historic brand, which is known for the manufacturing of high-quality cashmere some of the world's most prestigious couture houses.
Chanel confirmed that Barrie Knitwear’s current management would stay in place, meaning that Jim Carrie continues as managing director and Clive Brown as sales director. It also added that the knitwear manufacturer would also continue its partnerships with all major luxury labels with no exclusivity.
Dawson International Trading Ltd joint administrator Blair Nimmo added: "With the sale to Chanel, we believe we have secured a sustainable future for a business which is of both historical significance to the textile industry and of local importance as a major employer in the Scottish borders.”
The GMB union also welcomed the sale, Alex McLuckie, GMB Scotland Senior Organiser commented: “GMB Scotland always felt confident that this highly skilled, productive and fairly loyal workforce which produces a high quality product would be saved.
“The news today that Chanel has taken over Barrie Knitwear is really good news. It lifts the uncertainty for the 180 employees and we can now look forward to continuing employment for our members in the Hawick Site now and into the future.”
Image: Chanel AW12 Ready-to-Wear