Barbour Celebrates 75 Years and Steve McQueen
BY REBECCA MALINSKY
The Baker Jacket, from the Barbour Steve McQueen collection, inspired by the International jacket McQueen wore at a 1964 Enduro competition in East Germany
Thinking of Barbour, one immediately visualizes English hunting spaniels and the brand’s quilted field gear. And while Brits live in apparel from this classic collection, New Yorkers no longer have to cross the Atlantic to bring home a piece of Barbour’s full range of clothing and outerwear. This fall in Soho, the Barbour Heritage store reopens, carrying the fashionable Heritage line as well as the traditional field and International motorcycle jackets. “New Yorkers understand fashion as well as the need for value and quality. This is what Barbour offers,” says Tom Hooven, General Manager of Barbour US.
The International, a multipocket utility jacket, is one of the most famous Barbour styles. The jacket became legendary when movie star Steve McQueen sported it during his career as a motorcycle racer. Says Hooven, “McQueen most notably wore an International jacket when he represented the US team in the 1964 International Six Day Trials, one of the most challenging racing events in the world.”
This year Barbour is celebrating the International’s 75th anniversary by paying tribute to the Bullitt star. “It seemed perfect to celebrate that milestone with a collection inspired by one of its most famous wearers,” Hooven says. As reimagined for the International’s anniversary, the Barbour Steve McQueen Collection’s motorcycle jackets have a rugged, cool feel outside and linings printed with images of McQueen. “It’s great that Barbour has re-envisioned the International jacket for the collection, since that’s the Barbour jacket he actually wore,” says McQueen’s son, Chad McQueen. “They’ve done great things to make it new and modern while still keeping it something I think my dad would have worn.”
The International and the new Steve McQueen collection of jackets, sweaters, and T-shirts have a classic, hip look that makes them both wardrobe staples and statement pieces. Says Hooven, “What impressed me most about this collection is that when you see it, you can picture Steve McQueen wearing the items, as they reflect his character and his taste for fashion.” 123 Wooster St., 212-941-7524
PHOTOGRAPHS BY FRANCOIS GRAGNON/LA GALERIE DE L’INSTANT (MCQUEEN); BRION YOUNG PHOTOGRAPHY (JACKET)