As a brand started by two Scotsmen, it would be an understatement to say we are excited to share our latest collaboration, Socks on the Rocks with you. An exclusive blend of our two great loves – Glenfiddich single malt whisky and stylish socks – this gift box includes three exquisite whiskies from the world’s most awarded single malt whisky distillery, and three sartorial classics from LSC’s Spot of Style collection. We catch up with Glenfiddich’s brand ambassador for Scotland, Mark Thomson, to find out more about his role, his style and this collaboration.
LSC: How did you get into whisky?
MT: I stole some of my grandfather’s Glenfiddich when I was eight years old! But that was just a sip … I didn’t drink whisky again until I was 17 and then it took me a number of years to truly develop my palate. I started off with a passion for wine and actually sat my wine exams before my interest grew into the role I have now. The real fascination came from the rich history in every bottle. I am a geek when it comes to it (but don’t tell anyone!). I started my own business hosting educational whisky tastings all over the UK which morphed into more of a consultation role for whisky brands. When the chance to represent Glenfiddich, my favourite whisky came along, I jumped at it.
LSC: What is a typical day for you?
MT: There is no such things as a typical day. From hosting customers at the distillery or private dinners somewhere in Scotland, to London trips to assist head office in training bartenders or helping create whisky menus and bespoke cocktails. Not to mention dreaded press interviews … (just kidding)! I’m a whisky educator, so any form of interaction with the brand and customers usually involves me in some way. Lots of travel, but I’m well used to that after nearly five years in the role.
LSC:How would you describe your personal style?
MT: It depends on the day and the task ahead. For low key events, my signature look is a black t-shirt, jeans and boots. But for higher level events, it’s three pieces, tweed and tailoring. My grandfather was a huge influence on me. He was always immaculate and wore the best shoes and suits. He was a young man in the twenties, so I really love that period of fashion and style.
LSC: How conscious of your style are you?
MT: I think it’s very important as an ambassador to dress for the occasion. If people notice that you’ve taken the time to, let’s say, match your glasses to your watch and belt, well, I think that gives them some sense that they are in the hands of a professional and can focus on the whisky. I know that sounds strange, but if it was the other way around, I would get distracted if was working with someone dressed in a mismatched manner.
LSC: How does London Sock Company fit into this?
MT: Without a doubt LSC fits with my style ethos. I’ll choose a pair to match (or sometimes nicely contrast) an outfit. But there is always a consideration. London Sock Co. offer such a varied range that there is a pair for jeans and boots as well as those for a more tailored look. My mother always said that you can skimp on disposable fashion in an outfit but never skimp on your shoes. As socks are inevitably noticed along with a good pair of shoes, LSC are my go to brand.
LSC: What does good style mean for you?
MT: For me, good style means timeless, well-fitting, well-chosen items. It’s an edge; noticing something unusual and wearing it along with other items to flair your personality. I like muted tones in my wardrobe – grey, navy, browns. When you pull on a great pair of socks, slip into a great pair of shoes, pull up braces on a fine pair of trousers, and put on a jacket that truly fits, then you know you can step out with confidence. I can be rather disorganised or often am running late, so if I know the items in my wardrobe are timeless, it makes like easier. I think donning a dinner suit in less than 10 minutes of getting to my hotel room was a record – including tying my bow tie! (Please burn all clips-ons so we all have to learn again).
LSC: Do you have any items of clothing that boost your confidence when you know you have a particularly challenging or important day ahead of you?
MT: My cashmere/tweed pin strip navy suit – cut in a looser, 1930s style – is the suit I’m most often given compliments on. I sometimes take the look to the next level and pop my navy fedora on. As it’s a slightly different cut, people seem to notice it and it gives me great confidence to know that I’m not simply wearing another suit which follows the current trends.
LSC: What are you favourite pair of LSC socks?
MT: I’m currently in love with the new Merino wool collection. You might think you’d only wear them in winter, but they are lovely and cool in warm weather also. It’s almost a secret luxury; they look like nice classic navy socks but you know they are something a little more luxurious, and there is something rather satisfying about this.
LSC: Tell us a little about this Glenfiddich and LSC collaboration, Socks on the Rocks. Why is it the perfect pairing?
MT: From the moment we first started discussing this collaboration, it really seemed to be the perfect partnership. A quality whisky, with heritage and experimentation behind it, paired with a brand whose ethos is about quality, simple sophistication, and enabling gentlemen to confidently express themselves. We know that people who choose to drink Glenfiddich have made a choice about consistency and quality, something that echoes through the London Sock Company range. This exclusive Socks on the Rocks collection will also help those struggling to choose between stylish socks and excellent whisky as a gift – now you can get both in one beautiful package.