South Shields firm Barbour International wins top fashion award

Barbour International staff accept their award.
Barbour International staff accept their award.

A long-standing South Tyneside company’s spin-off fashion brand has scooped a top industry honour.

Barbour International – Barbour’s fashion wing famed for its motorcycle wear – has been named Mainstream Brand of the Year at the prestigious Drapers Awards.

The company, which has been stand-alone since 2013, has a long history with motorycycling.

Judges praised the firm’s ability to transform into a multi-category brand with a clear commercial offer, marketing plan, quality products and impressive year-on-year growth.

Paul Wilkinson global marketing and commercial director Barbour International, said “We are delighted and very proud that Barbour International has won this prestigious Drapers Award.

“It is an honour to be recognised by our industry peers and a credit to all the hard work of our marketing, sales and designs teams in taking the motorcycle-inspired history and heritage of Barbour International and creating a commercial vision that appeals to both men and women. Barbour International has real heritage and authenticity but represents a different lifestyle and attitudes to our country-inspired Barbour brand.”

Barbour International as created back in 1936 when Duncan Barbour, the third generation of the Barbour family, developed the Barbour International suit for the 1936 International Six Day Trials (ISDT).

Famously worn by ISDT teams from the 1930s through to the 1970s, including actor Steve McQueen in the 1964 ISDT as a member of the US team, it was worn by pioneering women too including Olga Kevelos, a British motorcycle trials and endure rider and the only woman to win two gold medals in an ISDT, and 1950s motorcycle triallist, June The Rough Rider.

The brand now has its own stand-alone website, social channels and distribution and a dedicated store in Piccadilly, London.

The Barbour story began in 1894 in the Market Place in South Shields.

Today the fifth generation family business remains in South Shields, with Barbour’s headquarters located in Simonside.

Although it sources products from around the globe, its classic wax jackets are still manufactured by hand and each year more than 100,000 jackets are processed.

Barbour now has 10 of its own retail shops in the UK and a presence in more than 40 countries worldwide