Barbour: Chloà link-up reflects shift to younger, more feminine style via collabs

Barbour: Chloé link-up reflects shift to younger, more feminine style via collabs

Translated by

Nicola Mira

For SS23, Chloé’s womenswear is gearing up to deal with the cool showery weather of the great South American outdoors. Gabriela HearstRichemontBarbour

This coat from the Chloé X Barbour collection is available on MyTheresa until December 9 – ChloéXBarbour

Hearst, who has revamped Chloé’s style in the last two years, was won over by the highly recognisable style of Barbour’s jackets, as well as by the knowhow of the British brand, whose factory is still located in South Shields, UK. The Chloé X Barbour collection was released on December 2 on MatchesFashion.

The collection is one of the highlights of the year for Barbour’s well-orchestrated collaboration strategy. It’s an approach that it began to adopt before the Covid pandemic, and has enabled the brand, renowned for its country gentleman style and famously worn by members of the British royal family, to explore new horizons.

In the past, one of the founders’ descendants, a rather adventurous character, decided to develop motorcycle racing apparel, creating a second brand called Barbour International, whose ‘ambassador’ is late US actor Steve McQueen

Targeting three segments

But it’s the long-established Barbour brand that’s enjoying a new lease of life thanks to collaborations. The strategy blossomed in 2019, with the success of the collaboration with British TV presenter and designer Alexa Chung

The Supreme X Barbour collaboration in 2020 – Supreme

After the success of the first collaboration with Alexa Chung, which enabled Barbour to make inroads with a female, fashion-oriented clientèle, the brand fleshed out its strategy, and shifted up a gear. It joined forces with GanniRoksandaNoahBape

Above all, collaborations have allowed Barbour to reach out to new retail clients, both womenswear stores and retailers more oriented towards young directional urban wear.

The Brompton X Barbour collaboration – Barbour

“When [Barbour] teamed up with Alexa Chung, the brand had no presence at womenswear retailers. We initially sold that collection to menswear retailers that operated mixed-gender stores. But it then allowed us to sell to womenswear retailers too. With the Alexa Chung [collaboration], we can reach mid-range multibrand retailers that sell Max MaraGérard Darel or Patrizia PepeBurberryLe Bon Marché [department store in Paris] 18 months ago. In terms of a younger clientèle, the Supreme collaboration put us in touch with a streetwear audience, and opened more upmarket doors. In France, we are available at stores like Rayon Frais, Royal Cheese and Specimen. Nowadays, 65% of our clients are long-established, and 35% are new entries,” said Tinel. Proof of this interest, some independent retailers in France have opened stores dedicated to Barbour.

Extending the main line

Barbour continues to work on new collaborations, the next ones on the cards being with Palace Skateboards, And Wander, Maison Kitsuné, Moncler

Barbour is growing robustly, and said the retail value of its revenue will top the £1 billion mark this year, with a 44% increase in Europe (excluding the UK, which remains the brand’s best-established market, generating nearly a third of sales) and a powerful surge in North America and especially Asia, where Barbour is keen to develop new expansion projects.

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