BEACON OF STYLE
Tough, hard wearing, old friend, faithful pal, Barbour is one of Liberty’s fave labels. This season it’s having more than a bit of a fashion moment, thanks to it chiming with our appreciation for timeless, investment purchases. From the moment we heard Japanese designer Tokihito Yoshida, the founder of the To Ki To design house, was launching a limited edition capsule collection for Barbour this season, we have been counting the days for it to hit the Liberty shop floor.
Consisting of five wax and three waterproof jackets for men, the Beacon Brand collection delves into Barbour’s 101 year archive of designs. Each of the jackets are beautifully crafted with a wealth of wondrous features to delight even the most discerning sartorialist. Although designed for men, we are already spying a few girls in our menswear department trying on the Driving Jacket in smaller sizes for themselves.
Cue a catchup with Mr Tokihito Yoshida, hailing from Japan and renowned for an attention to detail in everything he designs. We asked him all about the limited edition collection for Barbour:
What was your perception of Barbour prior to this collaboration?
I first started wearing Barbour jackets in the late 1970s for outdoor camping trips. I would paddle an authentic open deck canoe across lakes to campsites that couldn’t be reached by land. My outfit? A Barbour jacket and trousers in Harris Tweed with a wax cotton outer. I coveted the colour and feel of Barbour wax cotton worn in the great outdoors; it was in harmony with nature.
The trench coat feels like something straight out of a 1940s wardrobe. We can just picture handsome soldiers riding bicycles through the fog in this…were there any specific moments in Barbour’s history which directly inspired the garments you have designed?
There wasn’t any particular model, but the detailed design of each Barbour jacket is fit for a specific purpose and functionality. This has always served as both model and inspiration for my own clothing designs.
We are all fighting over which is our favourite jacket from the range. Which is yours?
If I were to choose one piece, it would be the Bicycle Jacket. This is because I have recently been wearing it daily on my own bicycle. It’ll probably be the jacket that I’ll get the most use out of this autumn.
Good choice! How will you be wearing yours?
The Bicycle jacket has superb functionality, and is both fashionable and chic, and thus goes with any casual look. This autumn I’ll be wearing light knits with tweed pants, a scarf around my neck to ward off the cold, and classic trekking shoes on my feet.
What kind of person did you have in mind when designing the range?
First of all, it was important that I would want to wear these clothes myself. This project is the first time that I have designed for a non-Japanese brand. I was allowed a free interpretation of the Barbour customer by Barbour and it is most intriguing for me to see the kind of people that like this collection. For me, there would be no greater honour than to present my collection to the British royal family.
Aside from the royal family, what is the Barbour wearer like?
I see the Barbour wearer as someone with endurance and a love for fashion.
For example, when it comes to wearing Barbour for outdoor games and sports, nowadays, there are many types of clothing in scientific materials superior in function to wax cotton. However, when thinking about the change in clothing over time, unlike scientific materials where the focus is on the debut of new items, for natural materials of more value is the comfort and feel of wrapping up in the clothing.
In Britain, the culture of conserving quality items (homes, cars, furniture, clothes, etc.) for many years of use is still going strong, We used to have this same culture in Japan, and it is a way of thinking that I support. I believe it is the wisest way to protect the environment. And the Barbour wearer, I believe, is someone attuned to this mentality.
We couldn’t agree more.