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NY Post
New York Post
15 Apr 2023


NextImg:Meet the Scottish kiltmaker who dresses big-time celebrities

His skirts make the men.

Howie Nicholsby dresses the biggest A-Listers in kilts to impress.

The fourth-generation kiltmaker once was tasked with outfitting Vin Diesel, who grew up in Greenwich Village and whose mother is of Scottish descent, for the 2003 MTV Europe Music Awards in Edinburgh, Scotland — and his kilt killed it.

“The producers wanted them to change outfits throughout the show,” Nicholsby, 44, told The Post a few days before NYC celebrated Tartan Week on Saturday with a parade up Sixth Avenue.

“He tried on the leather kilt and he said, ‘F–k’n hell, this is the bomb. I’m wearing this the whole f–king show.'”

Nicholsby, who owns Edinburgh-based 21st Century Kilts, can trace his celebrity connections back to his parents.

They constructed the kilt Mel Gibson wore to the premiere of “Braveheart,” and visited Charlton Heston’s West Hollywood mansion to measure him for one.

“My mom got to hold Moses’ staff,” Nicholsby said.

Nicholsby traveled from his home in Scotland to the Big Apple for NYC Tartan Week.
J.C. Rice

Vin Diesel

Nicholsby went to Los Angeles to make a kilt for Vin Diesel.
WireImage

But, he recalled, his parents, Geoffrey and Lorna, annoyingly “wouldn’t let me take the day off school to meet Scotty from ‘Star Trek.'”

He’s since dressed other bold-faced names like Ozzy Osbourne, John McEnroe and Prince Albert of Monaco.

In 2009, he fit Lenny Kravitz for a kilt in Newcastle, England, before the singer’s concert in Glasgow, which ended sadly.

“He wore the kilt; he rocked it. He looked amazing,” Nicholsby said.

“But while the show was on, Michael Jackson died.

“They were good friends and had just worked on something together.”

His creations — which range in price from around $900 to just over $3,000 — are mainly made of a poly-wool blend or tweed, but he is also known for edgy denim and leather creations .

Howie Nicholsby, Lenny Kravitz

The fourth-generation kiltmaker also created one for Lenny Kravitz.
Courtesy of Howie Nicholsby

Mayor Eric Adams with the National Tartan Day Committee
The Tartan Week parade was held Saturday up along Sixth Avenue.
J.C. Rice

Nicholsby started coming to the Big Apple for the Tartan Day Parade in 2000.

“Tartan” refers to the plaids that identify Scottish clans.

“Scotland has a very old birth, death, marriage record. It goes back to about the 1100s,” he said.

“So if you know your surname and your family originated in Scotland, you can get a loose connection to what we call a clan.”

While he always maintains the clothing’s tradition, he sometimes likes to change things up.

Man playing bagpipes
The festivities showed many Scottish people showing their pride including their leather kilts.
J.C. Rice
Woman playing bagpipes
Along with the kilts, many of the performers were playing the bagpipes.
J.C. Rice

“The way I wear my kilt, depending what color’s in season, what’s going on like say with hoodies, or denims or leathers, I try a bit like Cher or Madonna, to change my look every few years,” he said.

“But the foundation is still the same.

“It’s still a kilt and funky boots.”