With Barbour, longevity exists alongside wearability. The jackets’ style and color, for many, mean they can be worn nearly anywhere. (Two of my favorite parings with a handmade tie dyed T shirt or over a formal dress.) The way the jackets have evolved from a design point of view, they’re quite understated, so they’re very wearable,” he says. They’re not shouty jackets. Because intrinsically they’re designed for a purpose, they tend to last a long time in terms of trend. So, they cut through that which I think is the biggest factor in [the sustainability] sense.” Recent Barbour collaborations with brands like ALEXACHUNG and Supreme have helped introduce the label to a new and younger audience, and position it in a different light. Popularity has also grown with Barbour’s appearances on TV shows like Succession, Industry and, most significantly, The Crown. A new partnership with Chloé is on the way.
This summer, there was a burst of excitement when Ganni unveiled items from a Barbour collaboration at Copenhagen Fashion Week. The line, which launches today, includes a ready to wear collection as well as a 50 item Ganni x Barbour Re loved line of upcycled originals. Ganni kept the general structure of the coats while playing with the colors and proportions. On some, the Barbour corduroy collar is given the signature Ganni shape, while others feature embroidery and patches. The connection between the brands isn’t obvious, and the irony in a label so associated with youth and modernity pairing with one steeped in history is not lost on Ganni designers Ditte and Nicolaj Reffstrup. Contrast is a core part of our DNA and always has been,” says Nicolaj. The brand grew out of Ditte’s way of dressing, which was always about pairing [something] like a lace dress with sneakers. We’ve always found a lot of magic happening where there’s contrast. Never a dull moment. Obviously, there’s a huge contrast between what we do and what Barbour does.”
Dame Margaret Barbour, the brand’s chairman, took over the family business in 1972 after the unexpected death of her husband. She designed new styles like the Bedale and the Beaufort that skewed less utilitarian and attracted customers from outside the confines of the countryside. Images of Princess Diana in Barbour helped sales soar amongst London’s Sloane Ranger set, and the brand gained style credibility. As it happens, the aristocratic affinity for products like Barbour that stand the test of time (the Queen reportedly wore her Barbour coat for over 25 years) is very much in line with the buy less” approach to sustainability. Barbour jackets last a long time,” says Bergin. I think we’re lucky in the sense that the nature of waxed cotton means that as the jacket grows older, it becomes much more your jacket. It has all the places you’ve been and the people you’ve met and the things you’ve done together. It becomes quite precious to you and familiar and therefore part of your life. It’s much more personal. Not just a thing you have. Therefore, you tend to keep it a long time.”
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