The History of Barbour International
In 2011, Barbour celebrated the 75th anniversary of their world-renowned motorcycle jacket. To mark the occasion, the brand reintroduced a clothing collection inspired by their wealth of motorcycling archive history called the International Collection.
Back in the 1930’s, Barbour released a green waxed cotton jacket which was designed specifically for the International Six Day Trials (known as the ISDT – one of the oldest off road motorcycle events in the world). The jacket was very well received and, consequently, became widely thought of as the original motorcycle jacket – a true classic in its own right.
In 1964, the jacket was adopted exclusively by the American ISDT team which boasted big names such as Bud Ekins and Steve McQueen. At this time, the International collection was also becoming popular among Brit rockers and rough weather adventurers who loved its effortless style. Spurred on by its wide ranging appeal, the jacket quickly became the worldwide standard for tough, water-resistant protection (during WW2 the International racing suit was even adapted for Britain’s submariners).
Today, the International collection is just as respected as ever. The range has been given a contemporary overhaul while still retaining the hallmarks of the brands rich heritage – meaning the collection has much more to offer than just functionality. Its effortlessly cool style attracts motorcycle enthusiasts and the fashion conscious alike and, above all, the standards of quality are second to none. If you’re in doubt, slip one on and see for yourself!
For October, our visual merchandising team have put together an incredible shop window display that centres on the iconic history of Barbour’s International collection. The display contains a wall-length photo that captures the brand’s biker influence and the entire area is decorated with checked start flags, tyres and bright yellow oil cans. The pièce de résistance is a retro inspired motorcycle that has pride of place in the centre of the window.
The bike was kindly supplied by family owned business, Orwell Motorcycles Ltd, who are the main dealers for new Kawasaki, Yamaha and Suzuki bikes, as well as all makes of used bikes, parts and clothing. Not only are they the largest in East Anglia but they also have a fully equipped 5 bay workshop for service and MOT’s.
The motorcycle itself is a Kawasaki W800 Special Edition which is fitted with genuine Café Racer accessories. Launched in 2011, its retro style emulates that of the Kawasaki W series which contained three models produced from 1967 to 1975 – these, in turn, were based on the British BSA A7. The official retail price is £6899 and it will be available to buy from mid-November(!!).
If all this motorcycle talk has whet your appetite, why not visit Orwell Motocycle’s website here and browse all that they have to offer?