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A Brief Barbour History

Ever popular for being a hard-wearing yet statement-making cover-up, Barbour’s wax jacket is as much at home at a festival as it is on a weekend in London, and has been spotted on many a style fan over the years, including Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and myriad models and street stylers.

Now a household name and considered the go-to brand for sustainable outerwear, the three wax jackets that shot Barbour into the stratosphere were designed by Dame Margaret Barbour in the 1980s. The Bedale, the Beaufort and the Border, so classic in their design, remain bestsellers and are still made in the Barbour’s factory in South Shields.

John Barbour, founder of the namesake label, embarked on the brand’s famed history in 1894 in South Shields by supplying oilskins and other waterproof garments to sailors, fishermen and dock workers to protect them from the weather. It was these items that quickly established Barbour’s reputation for innovation and quality.

Sarah Lawrenson, Barbour’s Head of Womenswear, comments: “Today, Barbour jackets are worn as much in the city as they are in the country - you can wear casually with jeans or shorts or over the top of a dress for a smarter look. The beauty of Barbour clothing is that it is timeless and versatile, enabling the wearer to create their own unique look and style.”

To this day, Barbour, a fifth generation family-owned business and the holder of three Royal warrants, designs collections with the classic and contemporary customer in mind. From the robust and sustainable aesthetic of the Barbour X Land Rover collaboration, to the nautical-chic appeal of the Seafarer range that celebrates the brand’s maritime heritage, there is something for everyone in the many Barbour collections available.

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