The Red Dragonhood clothing label, with the support of Cardiff City Council Tourist Information Centre, this week launches an initiative to help change the perception of Wales and its capital city with a line of clothing and accessories aimed both at tourists and the domestic market.
Red Dragonhood designer Martin Davies said, “Nobody with any fashion sense would want to wear much of the merchandise available in gift shops. So we’ve produced a range of high quality, fashionable clothes that say something positive about Wales and what it means to be Welsh specifically for gift and souvenir shops.”
“We undertook research that suggested Wales is the second-most patriotic British nation after Scotland, but whereas the Scots have a clearly defined image, the Welsh do not. That’s something we’d like to change.”
“Rugby shirts are not something visitors to Wales generally want to take home with them unless they’re ex-pats. Our research suggests an increasing number of Welsh rugby fans won’t wear the Prince of Wales Feathers because they see it as an imperialist symbol. So we’ve looked at different ways to project Welshness and express pride in our country.”
“Rather than rehash the usual clichés of flags, daffodils, leeks and dragons we’ve developed contemporary designs based on positive metaphors for Wales, whilst retaining familiar colours.”
“We also discovered that tourists want authenticity. That’s why we’ve produced a capsule collection based on the Welsh name ‘Caerdydd’ rather than the anglicised ‘Cardiff’. We’d don’t have a Welsh language agenda. I’m not a speaker myself. It just makes sense.”
“I’m from Cardiff originally. I don’t recall hearing Welsh spoken much when I was a kid, except by my grandparents who were from the country. Now you hear it everywhere. It’s the language of the young, fashionable and forward-looking in Wales, so I think it’s about time we adopted the authentic Welsh version to express our capital city’s identity.”
“The design is an attempt come up with an iconic graphic device, somewhat like the classic ‘Italia’ symbol found on Italian sportswear. I’d be delighted if Blues and Bluebirds fans were to adopt it because that would help to change perceptions very quickly.”
Red Dragonhood ‘Red Label’ capsule collections currently include T-shirts retailing at £20, hooded pullovers at £30, baseball caps at £14 and tote bags at £12. Fine detail extends to the back of the label, which features the lyrics to the chorus of the Welsh national anthem and the slogan ‘Cymru am byth! Wales for ever!’
The new range is available now from the Cardiff Tourist Information Centre shop at the Old Library in The Hayes. Distribution will be extended to Cardiff Castle and museum gift shops throughout Wales during 2011.
For more information contact: Martin Davies at the Red Dragonhood on +44 (0)7981 144394 or Gareth Clarke, Retail Manager at Cardiff Tourist Information Centre on +44 (0)29 2087 3573