A BLACK Isle designer is helping to ensure top Scottish athletes will be dressed to "kilt" when they step out on to a world stage to compete at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia.
Siobhan Mackenzie, who has broken into the American market after her tartan designs were picked up by an exclusive Manhattan department store, has added another feather to her cap after being asked to create a kilt for the female athletes to wear during the opening ceremony at the Carrara Stadium on the Gold Coast next April.
The Fortrose-based designer said yesterday she is honoured to have created a kilt for athletes to wear during the opening ceremony in Australia when they represent their country next April.
"I am humbled to have this opportunity and I get to put my stamp out there," Miss Mackenzie said.
"For a young person in business it is a huge, huge goal for me to design for my country.
"I have wanted to be a designer since I was 10 but it is hard to say where you are going to be and at what time and designing for the Commonwealth team, for Team Scotland has always been a huge goal."
Miss Mackenzie worked as an alteration technician for the technical officials at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, which sparked her interest to become involved further with Team Scotland.
Since then she has launched her own business and established herself as an international, luxury clothing brand.
Her clothing is currently for sale in Bergdorf Goodman – one of New York’s most elite department stores.
She has also worked with celebrities such as Canadian superstar Justin Beiber and Judy Murray OBE.
The tartan for 2018 was created by House of Edgar of Perth who also created the men’s kilts.
It reflects Team Scotland’s brand colours in blue, purple, magenta and green.
As the last Commonwealth Games hosts, Scotland will be the first team to walk out into the opening ceremony at the Carrara Stadium in Gold Coast on April 4, 2018.
Athlete Lynsey Sharp, who battled back from illness to win silver in the 800 metres at Glasgow 2014, was thrilled to model the new women’s kilt.
"It’s absolutely beautiful and I think it’s definitely something I will wear again," she said.
"I love Siobhan’s designs so I was really excited to hear she was designing the women’s outfit for Team Scotland.
"The parade uniform is always a huge talking point, everyone is going to be excited to see it and try it on, and I am sure they’re going to be really proud of it. The parade wear brings everyone together and makes you feel like one team and it will be fantastic to see everyone wearing it together at the games."
Team Scotland deputy chef de mission Elinor Middlemiss said: "It is always important to make sure the female team members don’t feel like an afterthought when it comes to the parade uniform, so it has been brilliant to work with such an exciting young designer like Siobhan and see her bring such a contemporary twist to their kilts and I am sure they are going to love it."
Miss Mackenzie hopes to go and watch the opening ceremony in Australia – to see her design’s centre stage.
"It is definitely a proud moment and I don’t think the reality is going to hit me until I see a swarm of athletes walking out into the stadium wearing it," she said.
"I have designed the outfit in mind with something the women can actually wear after the games. In the photos I have styled it with different looks as well as the parade outfit.
"The kilt you can wear with heels and a nice top and jewellery and then with a cashmere sweater and long boots. They can keep it as a sentimental piece that will always remind them of the Australian games."