It was only a matter of time before heritage brands were on the table. Because, although there's much value attached to one very expensive, very sold out brick, clothes made out in the provinces for hundreds of years have a little more charm. They also have that all-important ingredient in heritage brands. It's called heritage. Barbour, a label based out of the sleepy, northeastern coastal town of South Shields since 1894, has plenty of it. So much so, that brands like Supreme, Engineered Garments and Norse Projects have all looked to build upon the solid craft of Barbour's artisans – the sort of women and men that could bend time and space with a sewing machine. Now, big American brand Noah is the latest to launch a collab.
It's probably one of Barbour's most cohesive partnerships yet. For while prep 2.0 was, and remains, A Thing, the ascendant New York skate outfit is clean, and functional, and according to its website, prefers the sort of craftsmanship that is rooted in "countries, mills and factories where tradition, expertise and human dignity take precedence over the bottom line". Barbour's signature piece, the wax heritage jacket, is still manufactured in its Simonside factory. It's also as functional as menswear gets.
That means a just-dropped line that includes two new iterations of said seminal jacket: a Beaufort Wax – first developed by Barbour's sitting chairman, Dame Margaret Barbour, almost 40 years ago – in a quiet combo of black, Bordeaux, navy and olive, and a lightweight equestrian jacket in a shock of canary yellow. Still prep 2.0, but it's just taking a summer off on the country estate of an estranged, 'gnarly' British cousin called Wilfred the III.
In addition, there's a tightly-curated selection of T-shirts (embossed with images of ducks, dogs, and grizzled 'ey'up' blokes carrying livestock) and a range of hats and bags that sit closer to Noah's mainline than that of Barbour. The brand's logo alone does a lot of heavy lifting.
But, in tandem with Barbour, it's seamless, and seems more of an organic fit than the cynical marketing exercise of most collabs in the last decade of menswear. Heritage: still got it after all these years.
Available from 24 September at barbour.com/uk
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