It’s got nothing to do with Scotland and the town in Moray.
We were surprised, perhaps a little naively, that even a small number of people assumed that we must have some connection with a place that had the same name.
We haven’t pretended to have a connection with that town and area and we don’t manufacture there. Although some of our fabrics and clothes are made in Scotland, none of the manufacturers and artisans are anywhere near Elgin itself.
Nor have any of our photoshoots taken place in or near Elgin. To date we’ve shot in and around South Shields (home of Jamie, one of our founders), in Leicester where our clothes are made, in the Lake District and in London.
We really hadn’t thought that people would jump to that geographical conclusion.
We knew there was a town called Elgin in Scotland and Jamie had been there as a youngster, but we weren’t attaching ourselves to it.
We felt we were doing the same as firms such as Patagonia (not from Patagonia, but rather the US), and had chosen a name based on a range of reasons and, importantly, a personal emotional connection.
We settled on the name because it just kept coming up as a word whose look and feel we liked.
We felt it had something innately British about it and, when written down, the form of the letters and the word have a pleasing roundness and power.
At least to us.
But the reason we had even added the word ‘elgin’ to a very long list of possible names isn’t really that prosaic.
At the early stages of a new venture you try out all sorts of ideas and possibilities, in terms of products, plans and, yes, names.
Jamie liked the name because he’d lived on Elgin Avenue in Maida Vale, West London a few years before we started the discussions that would lead to us creating this company.
He’d frequented the pub there, The Elgin. Indeed we returned there as one of the places we’d meet up to hatch our plans.
Many years before I’d had an office off Portobello Road in another part of West London and one of the places I and my colleagues would end up at the end of the working week was another pub, also called The Elgin.
Two pubs with the same name, but only a few miles apart.
Serendipity maybe? You could easily do a (very short) pub crawl of just pubs called Elgin in that part of London.
We were trying to think of names that evoked a Britishness and a sense of heritage.
I’m not going to tell you what else was on the list, but Elgin kept standing out. That it was good enough for two of our favourite pubs gave it that personal emotional connection for us.
And although it’s not quite true to say we’ve named our business after a pub, could there be anything quite as British as doing that?