Carlisle shop Linton Tweeds has gone into detail about its relationship with legendary French fashion designer Coco Chanel in a recent documentary for the BBC. 

Coco Chanel Unbuttoned tells the story of the 'original influencer', whose designs still represent the zenith of female sexuality, style, and power.

The founder and namesake of the Chanel brand had a 10-year relationship with the second Duke of Westminster, Hugh Grosvenor, from around 1923 to 1933, and his love of hunting, shooting, and fishing would inspire her love of tweed jackets. 

During the documentary, it is revealed that, in the mid-1920s, she met with William Linton of Linton Tweeds in Carlisle thanks to mutual friend Captain Molyneux, who was a Parisian couturier.

Chanel and Linton Tweeds would go on to establish an incredible relationship.

The BBC met with the current chairman of Linton Tweeds, Keith Walker, and he showed off some of the letters that were exchanged between Chanel and the business, around 100 years ago. 

He said: "My dad came here in 1963 as the mill manager. It was originally the Linton family but then it became our family business.

"I did find letters backwards and forwards between Chanel and Linton Tweeds, but one, in particular, epitomised the relationship.

"It said: ‘Mademoiselle Chanel, having expressed the wish to see your collection. I would appreciate it if you could arrange to come over early next week, preferably Tuesday.’

News and Star: Current chairman of Linton Tweeds, Keith WalkerCurrent chairman of Linton Tweeds, Keith Walker (Image: Supplied)

"So that kind of defines our relationship. Basically, they ask us to jump, and we jump."

As a result of this association, Chanel became Linton’s biggest and most prestigious customer.

Over the years, the name Linton became synonymous with high-quality fabrics, and their exquisitely designed clothes were frequently featured on the Paris catwalks.

This reputation led to significant business growth in America, as Americans were eager to replicate the outfits showcased in Paris couture houses using authentic Linton fabrics.

Today, a Chanel tweed jacket is still regarded as one of the most coveted fashion items in the world, something which may not have become a reality without the hard work of one of Carlisle's oldest businesses.