David has designed over 60 tartans, including several tartans for US states, as well as for countries in
Europe and Africa.He is a chartered architect and designer who trained at both Edinburgh College of Art
and Glasgow School of Art.A writer and broadcaster, he has travelled extensively representing Scotland
at international sport, and is actively involved in the ‘Tartans for Africa’ link.This project uses tartan to help
generate a greater awareness of African countries, provide the means to generate funding for
humanitarian causes and empower women through the creation of sustainable local businesses.
David’s first contact with Shizue was when he was commissioned to design the Japanese national tartan
by her father-in-law.It was at the first meeting with Shizue that he learnt about Scotland’s historic
connections with Japan, and how a pioneering Scot, Thomas Blake Glover, had made such a vital
contribution to Japan’s social and economic development, becoming the first non-Japanese to be
awarded the Order of the Rising Sun by the Emperor.Inspired by the stories of Glover and other
famous Scots, he created the Japanese tartan.
Shizue has been happily settled in Scotland since 2006, and her relationship with the country was
strengthened when she married a Scotsman, John Melvin, in 2008.She is part of a successful online
shopping business for Japanese interested in western fashion and as well as studying English,
is making inroads with Scottish.The catalyst for the Japanese tartan, Shizue teamed up with David to
design the Sakuratartan, and the pair have since expanded this into a ‘Four Seasons Collection’.
In addition to her role at Sakura Scotland,Shizue is Japanese Operations Director at Galink UK, an
Edinburgh-based tour company offering inbound tours to Chinese and Japanese visitors.