Back to the Barbour

Spring Summer 2021

By Alexa Chung

Greetings from my kitchen table/”office”. Here at AC Towers our ongoing Barbour collaboration is something we’re immensely proud of and the new collection has such a dreamy colour palette, I hope you like it as much as I do! It has occurred to me though that it has been a partnership that has now been going for so many wonderful seasons that it’s worth going back to the start to remind myself and you, dear readers, about how it came to be.

 

 

 

 

Growing up in Hampshire, England with its unpredictable sky and suitably outdoorsy reputation I spent many years wearing Barbours on bike rides, horse rides and over my school uniform.

 

As such even the distinct aroma of a Barbour can transport me back to more innocent times when my main worries were how many mini Mars bars I could hide in my Barbour pockets and how to convince my mum to let me dye my hair like Ginger Spice (thankfully she didn’t think it would be a good idea).


 

 

In my early twenties when I moved to Shoreditch the Barbour was enjoying a boom having been repurposed by “hipsters” and musicians alike probably with some irony. Of course the things a Barbour stands for ie longevity, reliability, comfort, practicality were so wonderfully at odds with rock n roll that they made fantastic bedfellows.

 

 

When it came to producing our own line of outerwear after setting up my own brand in 2017 I was very keen to extend our styles by joining forces with Barbour and learning from their immense knowledge of how to construct a beautiful purposeful item that is classic and can live with you forever.

 

 

 

Literally forever.

 

 

On one of my many trips to South Shields for design meetings at the Barbour HQ I was treated to a tour of their factory where people are not only lovingly cutting, sewing and painting wax onto jackets but also repairing peoples beloved Barbours which have been passed down through generations.

And it was once again at Barbour HQ’s impressive archive in South Shields that the design process for my new collection began. It was here that I identified shapes and fabrics I was drawn to. On this occasion, it was the equestrian pieces which particularly caught my eye.

We experimented with our first ever double-breasted design inspired by one of Barbour’s oldest pieces in the archive, affectionately known as Uncle Harry’s jacket which dates back to 1910. I became fixated with adding pockets to any available space on the pieces where we became playful with the proportions and placement.

 

 

 

"The top pockets once more commonly used to store sugar lumps for horses are now on offer to stash your favourite lipstick so you can leave your handbag at home."

 

 

Some personal highlights of mine includes the Delia quilt, which offers a fashionable and cosy take on a classic trench, while the Maud is my all-time favourite and I can’t wait to get to wear them as an everyday staple in my wardrobe. For as long as I can remember, my approach to dressing has always followed the same rule; to balance more masculine shapes with something distinctly quite feminine.

 

 

So there you have it, I hope you enjoy my new

Barbour by ALEXACHUNG collection, as much as I enjoyed creating it.

 

 

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