A few questions...
Interview - The Macallan meets David Linley
The Macallan and British design company LINLEY have worked in partnership for five years creating a number of beautifully bespoke, hand crafted pieces for The Macallan collectors. This week we had the chance to ask founder and Chairman, David Linley a few questions...
Who is Viscount Linley?
I trained as a cabinet-maker at Parnham School House for Craftsmen in Wood, after which I set up my own co-operative of craftsmen in Dorking. We opened the first Linley shop on the New Kings Road in 1985. My passion for wood-working was developed from an early age – I often used to watch my father in his workshop and studio. He really encouraged me to explore the way things were made – whether a car, a watch or a toy (in fact the first thing I made with him was a toy submarine!). People often joke that I am a 'chip off the old block'. Cabinet-making is rather like engineering, it is about meticulous attention to detail and precision, attributes which I admire and certainly which my father exemplified in all the work that he did, whether as an architect or photographer.
Over the years, the Linley business has gone from strength to strength and we now have two London shops and a presence in Harrods, as well as an international client base. My role is now that of Chairman of Linley. I am also Chairman of Christie's UK. I live in London with my wife Serena and two children Charles and Margarita.
How did you first get involved with The Macallan?
The Macallan approached us initially; they told us they had been watching the brand for years and have always loved the things that we do. We were of course delighted and very flattered!
How did you bring your unique approach to this project?
Here at LINLEY we have a great design team with whom I work closely. We were thrilled to be asked to work on such a prestigious project. The initial brief was to design a box to house six bottles of Fine and Rare Macallan Whisky, but we always try to go beyond the client's expectations. We did this by integrating six bespoke whisky glasses and a humidor into the design to give the user a complete experience every time it was used. The wood choice for the final design took inspiration from the Macallan Whisky barrels which are constructed in oak.
What exciting projects are you currently working on?
We are currently putting the finishing touches to our Christmas gifts collection, set to arrive in store this September / October including some new pieces in the very popular Linley / Tom Aikens kitchen collection. We are always working on exciting one off pieces which exemplify craftsmanship at its best. And we are shortly to announce a collaboration with a well known British car brand; watch this space!
What is next for you and the company?
We have a new shareholder on board – Jamie Edmiston – who brings with him his extensive knowledge of the yachting industry as well as his experience in brand development. It is our plan to expand Linley overseas, putting it firmly on the map as an international, British luxury brand. Both China and Russia will be important markets for us, as will Europe closer to home and of course the US where we have many Linley clients.