SCOTTISH designer Christian MacLeod is taking over the British fashion scene one belt at a time.

Born and raised in Inverness, MacLeod (above) had his sights set on a very different career path: he was juggling life as a professional golfer while attending a teaching course at the University of Birmingham.

Unfortunately, due to a sudden injury, he had to make the difficult decision to retire from professional golf and his teaching studies at the age of 18. Not one to let this stand in his way, MacLeod realised he had another calling and he jumped full-time into the fashion industry with the accessory label he had started at the age of 16.

The National:

Designing belts initially began as a hobby for MacLeod, as well as a way to stand out from other professional golfers. It had always been an ambition of his to reinvent the belt and so he grasped the new opportunity to channel all of his focus into re-imagining the accessory.

MacLeod says: “It’s CM’s job to change everyone’s perception of the importance of the belt on your outfit choice.”

Describing his journey into fashion as a “never-ending rollercoaster”, his original collection of three luxury belts was an instant success. His designs caught the attention of celebrities and industry experts as well as sparking successful partnerships with Aston Martin, BMW and Celtic Football Club.

The National:

One of the most significant moments of his career is launching his debut collection of belts with none other than British GQ; at the age of just 18 he featured in a GQ full page for 12 executive months.

Reflecting upon the milestone, MacLeod says: “The whole experience to get into the biggest menswear magazine is an achievement I will never forget from start to finish.”

Since the launch of his label, the Scottish designer has not been a stranger to industry accolades. MacLeod has been named Accessory Designer of the Year at The Herald Fashion Awards and Retail Entrepreneur of the Year by the The Retail Trust.

The National:

The brand’s latest collection, entitled myCM, acts as an opportunity to introduce clients to belts which were originally designed for celebrities.

Further adding to the exclusivity of the accessories, each myCM buckle and belt will be personally signed by the celebrities themselves.

Overall, the range successfully reflects MacLeod’s true inspiration, which he describes as the wonderful people around him building the CM empire.