Hot 100 RETAIL STARS 2015: Michael Laing OBE

Michael Laing OBE, chairman, Laing Edinburgh

Designing over 100 new bespoke Laing-Parkhouse diamond rings and jewellery pieces has been a mammoth undertaking for Michael Laing this year.

He explains: “We set out to differentiate ourselves and true to our in-house passion for design we now have most of our jewellery and diamonds clearly defined as our own brand.”

The last 12 months have also seen the culmination of a lifelong dream for Michael, who announced the relocation of one of his stores to a prime space on Edinburgh’s exclusive George Street. Michael said of the move: “This isn’t just a step forward for Laing Edinburgh, but also for the city. We are opening a luxury store in a key location that will appeal to both international visitors and local customers, reinforcing Edinburgh’s reputation as a leading shopping destination.”

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Michael is also particularly proud of Laing Edinburgh’s bespoke pieces, which have achieved signifi cant commercial success, and the company’s in-house training academy that now has over 160 training modules. He says: “Our objective is to recruit good people who want to succeed and then give them all the development to achieve their success.” Michael also turned his hand to designing this year, producing an original high jewellery necklet sketch which was later brought to life. He explains: “After nine months, we completed it and it brought a tear to my eye. We evolved the design, it took shape and made it all in our Edinburgh workshop.”

When he’s not working, Michael can be found spending time with his family and his grandchildren who he describes as a “great source of inspiration and laughter”. He adds: “I have a great interest in wine, Formula 1, salmon fi shing, scuba diving, music, daily mediation, museums, art galleries and Southampton Football Club. I have too many passions. My wife says she’ll put on my grave something I keep saying ‘One life is not enough’.”

For his Hot 100 picture Michael chose to showcase his love of great wine — while enjoying a glass for himself, of course! If you look closely you’ll spot some sizeable tomes on Burgundy, and for good reason. “What’s my favourite? Depends on the moment but a fine red burgundy is incomparable and sublime,” he says.

To read a digital version of the Hot 100 2015 book in full online, click here.


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