The first thing that comes to mind when I think of Barbour is the classic waxed jacket – predominately associated with country bumpkins on their game shoots. However, there is much more to Barbour’s heritage. The launch of their new Barbour International Store reveals the brands biker heritage-think Steve McQueen and motorcycles. Oh, and the importance of a straight whiskey at a launch party.
The new store between Piccadilly and Jermyn street celebrates Barbour’s long and rich motorcycle heritage, a facet that many are unaware of. Some interesting facts:
Barbour International motocycle suits were worn by nearly every British international motorcycle team from 1936-1977 as well as army motorcycle display teams and patrolmen of police forces.
In 1964 Steve McQueen raced in the International Six Day Trials in East Germany wearing Barbour’s iconic wax motorcycle jacket. The Six Day Trials involved each team member riding 200 miles per day, competing in a range of challenges, through mountains, forests and rocky terrains.
The iconic Barbour International jacket with its distinctive diagonal left chest pocket was originally designed for holding maps and provides the source and inspiration for today’s International collections.
I visited the store for the launch party. The Balvenie scotch whiskey certainly warmed me up and Barbour have done a great job of steering away from the country bumpkin stereotype. A brand that burns some rubber.
The store is located at 211-214 Piccadilly, St James, London W1J 9HL