J. Barbour & Sons Ltd. is an English luxury fashion brand founded by John Barbour in 1894, that designs, manufactures and markets weatherproofed outerwear, ready-to-wear, leather goods, shoes and accessories for men, women and children under the Barbour brand
John Barbour, a native of Galloway, Scotland, founded J. Barbour and Sons Ltd. in South Shields, England, in 1894 as an importer of oil-cloth.John’s grandson Duncan, a keen motorcyclist, would also take the company in that direction during his tenure as Barbour became the originator of waxed cotton motorcycling suits and jackets.
The headquarters for J. Barbour and Sons Ltd. at the time of its foundation was located at 5 Market Place, South Shields. The company moved the headquarters to Wimbledon in 1916, then returned to Simonside, South Shields, in 1981.
While some of the waxed cotton jackets are still manufactured in Simonside, South Shields, most of the other products are manufactured outside the United Kingdom.
In addition to its waxed and quilted jackets, J. Barbour & Sons Ltd. are famous for sweaters, moleskin clothing, corduroy clothing, and tattersall shirts. Barbour has also entered the “waterproof-breathable” market with its own type waterproof liners, cordura external fabric and polar fleece sweaters. Some Barbour products contain outdoor-orientated features such as snug-fitting collars, “storm cuffs”, waterproof pockets with drainage holes and wide “game” pockets. In recent years the company has successfully modernized its collections to appeal to a younger clientele while maintaining credibility with the traditional countryside customer. Many of the more fashionable ranges are influenced by the “Barbour International” motorcycling ranges. Taking inspiration from the company’s 1931 waxed cotton motorcycling suit and the 1951 “Original Green” motorcycling jacket, modern collections are fashionable interpretations of the companies heritage in bikes.
Despite traditional connotations with rural life, Barbour jackets saw increased popularity as an urban fashion item in the 2010’s decade.