Creative Dundee

Isolated Heroes: Found in Dundee

Isolated Heroes - photography by Barker&McLean

Do I actually need to write anything, or are you, like me, just mesmerised by the stunning visuals, incredible colours and intense patterns of this new luxury street wear brand?

Isolated Heroes is the hottest new label on the block; and Samantha McEwen is the master fashion designer behind the brand. Originally from Dundee, Samantha studied at Heriot-Watt University – Scottish School of Textile and Design in Galashiels and has now returned to set up her studio in Dundee, after graduating earlier this year.

Isolated Heroes is a mainly unisex label, with a focus on printed textiles and oversized silhouettes. The brand brings optimistic clothing and a fierce sense of identity into the designer market and reflects the excitement currently flooding through the UK’s young new generation!

Samantha’s elaborate and energetic designs carry themes of Voodoo, Shamanism and modern Muti Murders; and her graduate collection, ‘Voodoo Zumbies’, will be launched at London Fashion Week in Feb 2012, in time for the Autumn/Winter 2012 season. With embellishments, embroidery and heavy hand detailing, her garments infuse the brand’s street wear ethic – vivid clashing colours with distinctive tribal prints!

The collection pieces include oversized t-shirts and t-shirt dresses, oversized jumpsuits, laser cut bomber jackets, tight fitting digital print jersey dresses and Harlem pants. neck pieces, scarves and jewellery will also be part of the new collection as the diffusion built up neck pieces released in July had sell-out success.

Isolated Heroes has already been in big demand by a number of MCs, stylists and performers – pieces from her collection were sent to the MTV 2011 VMA’s in Los Angeles, held earlier this year. Other clients include MC Gaff E, Peaches, MS FITZ, “Gucci Gucci” singer Kreayshawn and Cata.Pirata lead singer of South African band, Skip & Die.

Samantha works out of her studio in Tin Roof – an arts collective in Dundee; and we were lucky enough to ask her about her collection, and why she’s based in Dundee….

“After graduating I had no intentions of moving to London to pursue my career in Fashion as the majority of sales from my collection and from my label are over the internet which means living in a Fashion Capital isn’t necessary. Dundee is also my home town and I really enjoy working from here. The rent on my studio is pretty cheap which allows me to invest in other parts of the business and the studio is also massive with a pretty big space to work in which allows me to bring other people in to intern and help when i have a big order of garments going out and to prepare for the new season.

I also studied in Galashiels which was fantastic as the facilities are incredible, you can really go all out on every collection; and we were encouraged to do so; but the campus is literally in the middle of nowhere and pretty much the furthest away place from all the fashion capitals!

However this encouraged me to look to different things for inspiration and I think it’s also important not to get too distracted or influenced by other designers work, which happens when you are living and working / studying in a fashion capital city.

I now run my label by working in my studio in Dundee, designing and producing the garments and then exhibiting them in Glasgow / London. I know it’s extremely important to have a close connection with London and I aim to travel down every six to eight weeks to attend exhibitions, fabric source and visit stockists and stylists etc.

I think Dundee should be viewed more as a creative city as there are so many good talents coming out of the city at the moment and I really can’t wait to see what exciting changes the V&A will bring when it comes to Dundee. Hopefully there will be a stronger support network for local talent, rather than losing these talented people to bigger cities.”

It’s brilliant to see yet another fashion star setting up in Dundee… Watch out London, Paris and Milan…


Stunning images are by Barker&McLean

For more information on Isolated Heroes including a Full Look Book visit:





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