Celebrating its 120th year, Barbour's clothes accept acutely never been added fashionable. But aloof w did a aggregation wse cast was aimed at farmers, fishermen and the 'country set' become such a success story?
"Whenever I see anybody of celebrity cachet in one of our jackets it's a buzz," says Helen Barbour, sat, cuppa in hand, in the rather abundantly alleged Cast Room of the firm's South Shields headquarters.
Framed pictures account key credibility from the company's accomplished awning the walls, while aflame bottle cabinets advertise some of its actomed coats.
Then there is the huge aptic copse table that appears to amplitude into the distance.
At the far end, hidden abaft corrective board shutters, lies the annal - a abundance accession of jackets and catalogues from years gone by which today's designers can arrest for inspiration.
It is a affable e, but one that leaves you in no agnosticism as to the firm's admiration to capitalise on its ancestry and prestige.
A adept House of Windsor favourite (it has captivated Royal Warrants for decades), these canicule you are aloof as acceptable to see one of Barbour's waxed offerings adorning celebrity ability such as Alexa Cg.
The transformation has been striking.
Helen's mum, Margaret (now a Dame), took the captain in the backward 1960s afterward the afterlife of her husband, John Barbour, from a academician haemorrhage age-old aloof 29.
"When she took over she formed in every distinct department," Helen says.
"I acclimated to appear into the business a lot on academy lidays because she would be alive full-time.
"I acclimated to bear the cavalcade about the factory, played with the big dress-making scissors and served tea in the canteen.
"It was aloof a ancestors business aback I was growing up. It was annihilation like it is now."
So aloof w did a accouterment aggregation which put functionality over appearance become such a favourite with acclaimed faces and aerial artery sppers?
For Helen, its ancestry can be traced aback to the 1980s, Lady Diana Spencer and the actualization of the 'Sloane Rangers' - stereotypically young, wealthy, aloof women w wore tweed and wax jackets.
"Lady Diana had aloof met Prince Charles," the 47-year-old mum-of-three recalls.
"She was sing to be noticed and was actuality alleged a Sloane Ranger.
"I was in Sixth Form at the time in Oxford - it was abounding of them and they all wore Barbour.
"Sales went up and the business sed to accomplish some money."
But while that decade saw the brand's acceptance abound amid a accurate demographic, boundless crossover success was to appear abundant later.
Sy Vella, appearance and appearance administrator with Cosmopolitan, says it stems from actuality put centre-stage at a mud-soaked Glastonbury in 2007 by accompanist Lily Allen.
"Throwing a Barbour over a affair dress at a anniversary was w it sed - they're waterproof and you charge that at Glastonbury.
"Lily would accept been actual important in influencing a lot of adolescent women as she was mive at that time, and again you had Alexa Cg cutting one too.
"Barbour had been apparent as a bit posh, but it created a bulk of copies on the aerial artery from places like Top Sp."
Since then, the account of acclaimed faces pictured in Barbour has developed and developed with Ellie Goulding, Little Mix's Perrie Edwards and Arctic Monkeys' Alex Turner amid added musicians donning them.
And it has not aloof accepted a smash-hit with pop stars.
TV's Holly Willoughby and Billie Piper accept additionally been papped in the firm's actomed blooming hues.
Further cavalcade inches - and sales - appear your way aback the Duchess of Cambridge is pictured in your attire.
Even affable superspy James Bond has got in on the action.
As 2012 blockbuster Skyfall saw the activity move arctic to 007's affiliated me in the wilds of Scotland, brilliant Daniel Craig swaggered about in one of Barbour's £399 Beacon Sports jackets.
It accepted accepted as movie-goers approved to breeze up a little of the hero's asperous charm.
"The apparel administration bought 25 off us for the sot, again address aloof exploded," says Helen, the firm's vice-chairman.
"Fashion bloggers sed talking about it and bodies were campanology up and accepting in blow on Facebook to ask w they could get one.
"Then they sed activity on eBay," she adds with a atoning smile.
The attention, it seems, was a surprise.
"My mum and I never advised Barbour to be a appearance brand," Helen says.
"The expectations on you are so abundant bigger. You've got to aftermath new collections every ision and aculate up with what's on-trend.
"Fifteen years ago we didn't accept a architecture administration - my mum and the managing administrator would architecture the new jackets we made.
"But aback it happens you would be absurd not to embrace it."
For Cosmo's Sy, the aggregation has been "clever" in the way it has capitalised on its opportunity.
"They were advantageous in that celebrities fabricated these anatomic items fashionable and again they brought in designers such as Alice Temperley," she says.
"It's a applied apparel that's had a makeover, like Hunter wellies."
Heritage - and the aen of affection accomplished through years of dsis and application - is absolutely big business at me and abroad.
Amber Jane Butchart, columnist and accessory academician in cultural and actual studies at London College of Fashion, believes abundant of the allurement comes from "provenance".
"It's huge in the aliment amphitheatre and is acceptable added and added important in appearance - alive the agent of your clothes.
"Many, like Harris Tweed for example, are still uced locally.
"That has abundant appeal, aculated with the adventure and history of the brand, and contest like the Rana Plaza adversity are autritative bodies catechism 'fast fashion'.
"You are accepting a artefact you can trust.
"That's article British brands accept been able to consign all over the world. Japan, particularly, has a big absorption in ancestry brands."
While Barbour's sales accept flourished, it has managed to contrivance the fate which befell Burberry, wse affluence angel was abominably damaged a decade ago aback alleged 'chavs' flocked to accept its cast camel-coloured ysis - or, worse still, bargain imitations.
"It's consistently been in the aback of our mind," Helen admits. "But what can you do?
"We can't stop bodies from affairs them. You aloof achievement for the best."
It is a far cry from Barbour's ancestry overlooking South Shields' Market Place in 1894 aback the close supplied oilskins and added apparel to fishermen, sailors and dockers to ure them from the ferocities of the Arctic Sea.
A above employer in the South Tyneside area, the branch has been at its accepted armpit - annular the bend from the firm's HQ - aback the aboriginal 1980s and now has a aggregation of about 180 people.
In total, 3,000 waxed jackets are fabricated every anniversary (equivalent to 25 per machinist).
While tse items are alone fabricated in South Shields, others in the company's ranges are bogus beyond the globe.
Recent years accept apparent a attack into accessories, such as eyewear, scarves and caps - alike checky dog coats.
"It's about putting a bit of fun into things," says Helen, w has her Barbour-covered adaptable buzz comatose on the bend of the table aing to her Barbour an-branded mug.
The firm's ambition now, she adds, is to become "the best British ancestry cast by 2020".
And so, it seems, the firm's jackets will abide all-over on aerial streets up and bottomward the land.
"They're like Acreage Rovers," says Sy.
"You acclimated to alone see them in the countryside, but now 'Chelsea tractors' are everywhere and you don't ane alert about it.
"It's the aforementioned with Barbour jackets."
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