Barbour Jackets and the Company's Heritage

One of the most iconic pieces of British clothing is the Barbour Jacket. Whether it is in the classic waxed Stockman Jacket or the cult like Barbour International you will find a Barbour Jackets being worn in every continent.

Having founded the company in South Shields in 1894 after selling oil skins down at the docks, John Barbour could not have imagined the impact his well design and very well made jacket would have on the world. The Barbour in all its forms is so built in to the frame work of modern culture that just its name has became a by word for wax jackets who ever they are made by, a bit like Hoover and vacuum cleaners. This is because of the hard work that was put in to the company from the start which earned them Royal Warrants to provide the Royal household with wax jackets and protective clothing. This has woven them in to the British Heritage and the fabric of English country living.

It is very hard to find a company that has been able to make the transition from work wear to contemporary fashion quite as easily as Barbour, for the out side it looks like it has been painless. From the early adopters in Sloan Square who wanted to bring their second home country lifestyle to the city to the urban streetwear kids of the Grime culture who have made the Barbour Quilted Jacket a staple in their wardrobe and whom have attracted the most high street copy cats Barbour Jacket have penetrated all levels of British society and from that the world.

One of the earliest icons to have adopted the Barbour Jacket was Steve McQueen who is the peak of Hollywood royalty, his name has even been put to his own range of jackets by Barbour which are replicas of Jackets he wore through out his life. One of the main shapes that was patronised by him was the Barbour International, photos of him in his Desert Brown International are some of the most classic portraits out there. Add to this the classic Barbour Blouson and you have two Barbour Jackets that have made it from a Northern English city all the way to the palm trees and sunshine of Hollywood.

With one eye on the future Barbour have teamed up with Japanese Designer Tokihito Yoshida and they have let him loose with their range of clothing. The result being that the classic British Heritage culture of Barbour has been given a futuristic edge that only the Japanese can give. Which has ended up being a match made in heaven, with the Barbour To Ki To brand becoming one of the go to companies for well made future thinking clothing. You can find interesting use of materials and dying techniques running though out the whole range which is a far cry from the field of England where the Barbour Jackets started their lives.

Over the years Barbour have increased their range to include knitwear, shirts and just about everything else you need for modern life. All of which carry the same standards you would expect from a Royal clothes maker.

Recently Barbour have released the Beacon Collection which is set out to keep the heritage of the company alive, named after their famous Beacon Jacket which appear in their catalog as early as 1917 it is a range where no expense has been spared to create well made traditional items of clothing. You again will find all the classic silhouettes such as the International Jacket and the Padded Quilt but this time they will be made with extra touches and traditional methods. This ends up with a range of clothing that is as comfortable and practical as it is stylish and contemporary, once again this is a line that Barbour walks perfectly.

So when you put all these ranges together you have, Barbour, Barbour To Ki To, Barbour Steve McQueen and the Barbour Beacon Range and between all of them Barbour have every base covered. Whether you are in the field, on a Hollywood red carper or in the center of London you will not be out of place wearing your International jacket, in fact Barbour will have one to suit you perfectly in one of their ranges. And this is why Barbour will be name that will still be around in another hundred years or so. They have through out the ages stuck to their belief in high standards but haven't been afraid to embrace the future, this is a great formula for success and one that a lot of other companies could learn a lot from.

So there you have it, a British Heritage Company that is getting stronger and stronger and one that British manufacturers can look at to show them that we can still produce great clothes for the modern market. Barbour have shown with their Jackets and clothing that British Culture is still something to be proud of.