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Brand History


Barbour was established by John Barbour in 1894 in South Shields, and his sons Jack and Malcolm became partners with him in 1906. In 1908 the very first Barbour catalogue was produced and within 10 years the name Barbour was introduced overseas to Hong Kong, South Africa and South America. For well over 100 years Barbour has been recognised for producing high quality clothing for men, women and children alike. Barbour is most definitely the definition of fine English country clothing.

Barbour - Fine English Clothing

J Barbour & Sons Ltd started out as a supplier of oilskins designed for fishermen, sailors, dock yard workers and others who worked in the harsh elements of the marine industry. The coats were able to withstand the most severe of weathers. Barbour was in great demand during the First and Second World Wars, due to the high quality and durability of the coats. Barbour also provided oilskins to the military in both world wars. Over the years Barbour has evolved into one of the most iconic outdoor jacket designers the fashion industry has ever seen. The very first Barbour Clothing factory was opened in 1974 at a place called Simonside factory, where even today their quality, classic Barbour wax jackets are hand-made. Well over 100,000 of these classic wax jackets are made every year at this factory.

Barbour - The Royal connection

Barbour is the official supplier of outdoor waterproof wear to the members of the Royal family of Great Britain, indicating that Barbour is without a doubt a leader in their field. With the quality of their products and outstanding workmanship that goes into each and every item, Barbour can proudly boast three royal warrants, firstly appointed in 1974 by the Duke of Edinburgh, in 1982 by Her Majesty the Queen and lastly in 1987 by the Prince of Wales. Having the royal connection has doubled Barbour’s sales in recent times in New York, due to the Oscar winning film named The Queen, where Helen Mirren, playing the Queen, is seen proudly sporting a Barbour jacket.

Barbour – Both Classic and Contemporary

The heritage of the Barbour brand has drawn in celebrities such as Kate Moss and more recently Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, who has been seen wearing the ladies Barbour ‘Defence’ jacket. Barbour is not just popular with country folk but more often with city-dwellers choosing stylish Barbour waxed Jackets which complement their attire, such as turned-up jeans and brogues, or city boys favouring the Barbour quilted Jackets over their tailored suits. The Barbour brand name is not only a practical purchase but a very stylish one too. Barbour collections are now available in heritage, classic and contemporary styling, ensuring the chosen jacket will fit the wearer’s personality perfectly.

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