Thom Browne / Aaron Vasquez

Though he's most famous for deconstructing stuffy Western suiting, Thom Browne's transformative take on traditional Scottish tartan is no less revelatory. It's been a secret throughline from his early days to the present and — as revealed exclusively to Highsnobiety — Browne's proprietary tartan is finally taking center stage in his Fall 2022 collection.

My knowledge of tartan, and really all of Scottish heritage, goes no deeper as Beowulf, cartoons, and culturally conscious designers like Alexander McQueen.

Your Highsnobiety privacy settings have blocked this YouTube video.

How easy it is to forget that tartan is much more than mere pattern: like the breton shirt, tartan is entrenched in cultural history. In fact, each dizzying woolen plaid tells a tale of Scottish ancestry.

The earliest tartans can be traced to the 17th century, when highland tribes dyed wools with local flora to create marked tartan patterns that distinguished friend from foe, warrior from royal. Locharron of Scotland's tartan finder and the Tartan Registry of Scotland archive hundreds of these ancient tartans, including Browne's unique design.

Browne first partnered with Locharron, a longtime partner of punkish fashion labels like Vivienne Westwood and COMME des GARÇONS, shortly after he founded his brand in 2003; by Fall 2006, he created his own style.

Appropriately, Thom Browne's trademark tartan is rendered in tonal grey — his signature shade — and tinged with navy, a far cry from the vivid primary hues of the old school styles.

Browne's Fall 2022 collection will place special emphasis on the proprietary pattern when it debuts as part of New York Fashion Week on April 29, Browne's final hometown show before he returns to Paris.

But, first, he's reintroducing it through both an invite-only dinner attended everyone from Angus Cloud to Richie Shazam and a stylized campaign that demonstrates the myriad ways in which he's tinkered with the tartan over the years.

Your Highsnobiety privacy settings have blocked this Instagram post.

The pattern has been realized in every fabrication from Locharron's classic woven wool to the technical nylon shells of down jackets, equally recognizable atop pillow or pleated skirt.

Sweaters, socks, bows, cardigans, bags shaped like Browne's beloved Hector — they've all carried the tartan motif.

Your Highsnobiety privacy settings have blocked this Instagram post.

Browne's last NYC presentation, a teaser of the 20th anniversary festivities planned for 2023, will also celebrate some of the other heritage fabrics core to his collection and they'll all be introduced to his childrenswear collection for the first time. Happy birthday, indeed.

We Recommend
  • We're Only Wearing Retro Sunglasses This Season
    • Style
  • 10 Designer Travel Accessories to Flex Hard in the Departure Lounge
    • Style
  • Thom Browne's First Time in Milan Was a World-Class Snooze (EXCLUSIVE)
    • Style
  • A Luxury Keychain Is a Smart Way to Flaunt Your Favorite Label
    • Style
  • Storage Wars: 18 Crossbody Bags to Store Your Daily Essentials
    • Style
What To Read Next
  • Birkenstock's First Paris Store Is More Than Sandals (EXCLUSIVE)
    • Style
  • Burberry Trench? Lennon Gallagher Says Burberry Socks (EXCLUSIVE)
    • Style
  • From ASICS to Converse, Browse This Week’s Best Sneaker Releases
    • Sneakers
  • MSCHF's Next Step? High Heels Made of Shower Slides (EXCLUSIVE)
    • Sneakers
  • Kith's Villain-Themed ASICS Are Marvel-ous
    • Sneakers
  • Rice Is Perfume’s New Favorite Comfort Food
    • Beauty

Web Accessibility Statement

Titel Media GmbH (Highsnobiety), is committed to facilitating and improving the accessibility and usability of its Website, www.highsnobiety.com. Titel Media GmbH strives to ensure that its Website services and content are accessible to persons with disabilities including users of screen reader technology. To accomplish this, Titel Media GmbH tests, remediates and maintains the Website in-line with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which also bring the Website into conformance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.


Please be aware that our efforts to maintain accessibility and usability are ongoing. While we strive to make the Website as accessible as possible some issues can be encountered by different assistive technology as the range of assistive technology is wide and varied.

Contact Us

If, at any time, you have specific questions or concerns about the accessibility of any particular webpage on this Website, please contact us at accessibility@highsnobiety.com, +49 (0)30 235 908 500. If you do encounter an accessibility issue, please be sure to specify the web page and nature of the issue in your email and/or phone call, and we will make all reasonable efforts to make that page or the information contained therein accessible for you.