The Longship is a fashion and lifestyle store based in the Orkney Islands in the north of Scotland. We are a family business and pride ourselves on supporting other independent designers and craftspeople – from Orkney and beyond.
Our story begins in 1859, when James Kirkness, great-great-grandfather of the current owner, founded a grocers and wine merchant at 15 Broad Street in the heart of Kirkwall. This part of our business is still going strong, under the name Kirkness & Gorie.
Ola Gorie and daughter Ingrid Tait
Our family firm has evolved and grown over the years. In 1960 it took an important turn when Ola Gorie returned from art school to found the first jewellery design studio in Orkney. A pioneer in the modern Scottish crafts movement, Ola’s original ethos of fusing Orkney’s Norse heritage with innovative design continues to inspire us today.
With the St Magnus Cathedral directly outside our shop windows, it is impossible to ignore our Scandinavian heritage. It runs through the DNA of Orkney and our store, and its influence can be seen in our carefully curated collection of Scandi designers, as well as our overall ethos of curating a shop full of simple, stylish, functional design.
We don’t like the fast-fashion throwaway culture, and much prefer to source and sell products that will be long-lasting classics. Ola’s daughter Ingrid Tait trained in textile design at the Royal College of Art, and went on to found her own label, Tait & Style. After two decades of selling to leading boutiques around the world, she decided to focus on her own family's store. Ingrid now uses her designer's eye to discover great products from up and coming makers, as well as established names with exciting new ideas.
We believe each piece in our store has its own unique story: it starts with the people who make it, and the place it comes from. It continues when we find it, select it, and bring it to Orkney. And the end of the story…is in your hands, and in your home.
Kirkness & Gorie, c.1910