A Brief History of Verillas Kilts
Verillas Cargo Kilts were first designed in 2014. Allister (President, Verillas) had modeled other kilts for photo shoots and found that what was available at the time came in two flavors: heavy, stiff and rugged, or paper thin and cheap. The first V-Cargo kilts they developed had leather snap-strap closures, pockets, and a medium weight cotton canvas material selected to offer the best of both worlds. Still, much like the blue jeans of the 90’s, these kilts weren’t always comfortable. Inspired by the famous Alexander McQueen quote: “Fashion should be a form of escapism, and not a form of imprisonment”, we saw there was an opportunity and began developing our now iconic Versatta Series kilts.
We weren't entirely happy with the first generation kilt closure that used to be leather straps and snaps. During a design jam, we were thinking of different closure solutions and velcro kept coming back up as the solution to all problems. Yet, we kept shooting it down at first: "Velcro? No way. That’s for toddler shoes". We were quite wrong. In fact, the combination of the 8” back panel and the velcro closure allowed for a few really cool advancements in our kilt line. We didn't want a few beers or a big meal to make anyone's kilt experience suddenly uncomfortable as people naturally expand and contract throughout the day, and we found the answer.
First, we nailed comfort and style. Nothing beats an elastic waist, but they tend to look as unflattering as your high school teacher's gym pants from 1990. The Versatta Kilt’s elastic panel is completely invisible from the front, bringing you the best of both worlds. Second, the velcro closure isn’t visible anyway, and it means that you can gain or lose quite a few pounds before you need another size.
The development of our own set of tartan fabrics was a huge step for Verillas Kilts. “What family does that tartan belong to? Can I wear this?” These frequently asked questions made us realize that only a few tartans were perceived as “available to all”, such as Blackwatch and Irish Pride weaves. We wanted to bring you kilts in colors that you like, featuring tartan fabrics which look amazing, without the challenging tradition of determining if your lineage matches the weave. We find it modern and inclusive to bring you our own custom tartan designs so that your answers can always be “I’m part of the Verillas family. These are my people. I can wear this. So can you.”
Around this time, something else we realized was the need for an inclusive size range. And that was something else remarkable about Versatta series products; they already adjust on a 4-8” range per size, allowing us to cost-effectively stock all the colors in sizes sometimes ranging from 2XS to 3X. We are still working today to always have things in stock for people of all shapes and sizes.
Not long after, we started leaning into utility. Our kilts had pockets, sure, but our coolest leather accessories were all belt or holster mounted. And as a small boutique, we weren’t wealthy enough to stock all the dreams we had at the time. Borrowing from molle webbing found on tactical gear, we added removable pockets soft mounted to our kilts in the same way that they mount on belts – just more comfortably, and down where your hands naturally fall. That’s when Versatta came to hint at “modular” for us. Like superhero gadgets that you can mix and match into your customized outfit. And that resonated with Verillas. We want our customers to feel like they’re putting on modern armor for everyday life when they wear our designs. We kept the Modern-meets-Renaissance aesthetic (#ModRen), while focusing on how it feels to wear our products. They needed to be more than just something that looks cool. Have you ever spent an entire day on your feet roaming tavern to tavern at a renaissance faire? It’s a JOURNEY. You need comfortable clothes that can keep up.
Today, and we are developing something for every niche adjacent to ModRen. Our pride kilts are all about signaling, connection, and easing in to conversation for LGBTQ+ and allies. Our Deadlands products blend gothic style with comfort. Our Raider line blends Post-Apocalyptic with … well, not entirely destroyed (yet)! You’ll see a lot more ventures into alternative fashion communities under the Verillas Kilt brand this year, since we are seeing that the community supporting us is wildly diverse in it’s tastes and hobbies.