The English heritage brand that built a business on sturdy, waxed outerwear for fishermen, the military, and more leisurely outdoor pursuits such as riding and shooting looked to its ample archives for ideas.
The brand’s summer jackets have new, breathable mesh linings, while shirt jackets were made from featherweight nylon. The brand also took some bulk off of waterproof coats, giving them narrower silhouettes, or making them from laser-cut, sonic-welded fabrics. “We cut with light and sew with sound,” said Gary Janes, Barbour’s design manager for outerwear.
The brand, which showed in the grand interiors of London’s Royal Institute of British Architects, also unveiled a collaboration with Selfridges, based on vintage pieces.
The brand worked with Selfridges buyers on updating and adapting pieces including the Durham jacket, which had been customized for an officer during the Falklands War with multiple small pockets at the front.
It also put a new spin on the Ursula motorcycle jacket, which was later used for submariners, and a U.S. military jacket called the Mackinaw, with a shearling collar and leather piped pockets. The six statement jackets will land at Selfridges across the U.K. and online in September.
The beauty of Barbour lies in its craftsmanship and confidence. Unlike other British heritage names, it hasn’t tried to turn itself into a luxury brand, or go the street wear route. Family-owned and operated for five generations, beloved of Queen Elizabeth and her horsey clan, the company knows where and what it wants to be, and that’s no mean feat after 122 years in business.