A Brief History of Barbour



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Have you ever wondered how how it all began? Vintage Barbour is a must have nowadays – we all need it in our wardrobes and we all need it when we are off to the festivals. It always looks good on you, no matter if fitted or oversized, no matter if worn or very worn, no matter if ripped or dirty. In fact, the more knackered it is – the better your indie style looks like. At Harper & Lewis there is always a great selection of vintage Barbour coats for you to go through – on H&L Vintage Asos Marketplace Boutique so as in the actual shops which are based in the City Center of Birmingham, West Midlands, UK. Let’s briefly present the Barbour story though – we’re going to put it in photos.

Why ‘BARBOUR’? – because of the founder, John Barbour, obviously.

The story of Barbour began in 1894 in the Market Place in South Shields.


1894 – The founder John Barbour opens J Barbour & Sons in 5 Market Place, South Shields


1908 – John Barbour’s son, Malcolm, produces the first mail order catalogue. By 1917 the catalogue accounts for almost 75% of Barbour’s business including international orders from as far away as Chile, South Africa and Hong Kong

1912 barbour history

1912 – J Barbour & Sons becomes J Barbour & Sons Ltd with John Barbour as Chairman and his sons Jack and Malcolm as joint Managing Directors


1918 -John Barbour dies on 7 July 1918 and is succeeded by Jack Barbour

1927-Malcolm-Barbour_0_01927 – Malcolm Barbour is appointed Chairman, due to Jack Barbour’s resignation


1928 – Duncan Barbour, Malcolm’s only son joins the business

1934 barbour history

1934 – Duncan Barbour, a keen motorcyclist, introduces a motorcycling range that quickly takes off


Virtually every British International team wears Barbour suits from 1936 to the year that Barbour pulls out of the motorcycle clothing market in 1977


1939 – They develop the Ursula suit, which becomes standard issue for members of the Submarine Service

The Ursula suit was named after the U-class submarine, Ursula whose commander Captain George Philips was instrumental in having the suits produced


1957 – 97% of all competitors who take part in the Scottish 6 Day Event ride in Barbour International Oiled Cotton suits


Barbour moves to the Simonside Trading Estate on the outskirts of South Shields and builds a manufacturing plant. After 63 years of being a retailer, Barbour became manufacturers and marketers


Duncan Barbour dies age 48 and Malcolm Barbour again takes charge of the business with Nancy and her son John Barbour, age 19


1964 – Malcolm Barbour dies age 83 and Nancy Barbour takes the role of Chairman with John as Managing Director

1968 – John Barbour dies suddenly leaving behind his young widow Margaret and their two-year-old daughter Helen

Margaret Barbour is made a member of the Board of Directors

1972 – Margaret Barbour is appointed Chairman


1974 – Barbour receives the first Royal warrant from the Duke of Edinburgh


1980 – The first lightweight thornproof short riding jacket – the Bedale – is designed


The distinctive black and gold Barbour International badge is first seen on the famous motorcycling jacket of the same name


1981 – Barbour moves into a new factory in Simonside


The company remains at Simonside to the present day


1982 – Barbour receives the second Royal Warrant by Her Majesty the Queen


1983 – The Beaufort jacket designed by Margaret Barbour is featured in the catalogue for the first time


1987 – Barbour receives the third Royal Warrant by HRH the Prince of Wales and opens an office in New Hampshire, Barbour Inc, in March


1988 – The subsidiary Barbour (Europe) Ltd. is founded in Germany. Today, the company is located in Düsseldorf

The Barbour Trust is set up to support local and national projects and community issues. Margaret Barbour donates 20% of her shares in the company to The Barbour Trust

1989 – Barbour opens an office in Paris, Barbour France in October


1991 – In June, Margaret Barbour is honoured with the award of Commander of the Order of the British Empire for services to industry


1992 – Barbour wins a Queens Award for Export Achievement in 1992, 1994 & 1995

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1994 – J Barbour & Sons Ltd celebrates its centenary


1995 – Margaret Barbour is made President of the Royal Warrant Holders Association

1997 – Helen Barbour is made Vice Chairman

2001 – Margaret Barbour is appointed a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the New Year’s Honours List


2005 – Barbour wins the Best Shooting Clothing Product at the IPC Shooting Awards for the Northumberland range designed by Lord James Percy


2007 – Barbour is the jacket of choice at the Glastonbury Festival with acts and celebrities such as the Arctic Monkeys, Lily Allen, Peaches Geldof and Rufus Wainwright all wearing the brand


2008 – Barbour wins Best Shooting Clothing Product at the IPC Shooting Industry Awards for the Linhope Endurance 3 in 1 jacket designed by Lord James Percy

Barbour is awarded a special commendation at the Sunday Times PricewaterhouseCoopers Profit Track 100 Awards


2011 – Barbour celebrates the 75th anniversary of its iconic International motorcycle clothing

“Today the 5th generation family owned business remains in the North East, with Barbour’s headquarters located in Simonside, South Shields. Although it sources products from around the globe, Barbour’s classic wax jackets are still manufactured by hand in the factory in Simonside and each year over 100,000 jackets are processed via the central, subsidiary and local customer service operations.
In 2004, Barbour began to work with Lord James Percy, in the design and marketing of its flagship shooting clothing range – the Northumberland range. Technically advanced and highly acclaimed in 2005, the Northumberland Range won the Shooting Industry Award for best clothing product, and more recently, the Linhope 3-in-1 won the Shooting Industry Award for best clothing product, 2008. More recently he was involved, alongside Vice Chairman Helen Barbour, in designing the new Barbour Sporting collection launched for Autumn Winter 2011.

Barbour now has 11 of its own retail shops in the UK, and a presence in over 40 countries worldwide including the United States, Germany, Holland, Austria, France, Italy, Spain, Argentina, New Zealand and Japan.

There are now over 2,000 products across the two seasons and the collections now cater for Men, Ladies and Children. Broadening out from its countrywear roots, today the heritage and lifestyle clothing brand produces clothing that is designed for a full lifestyle wardrobe. As well as jackets and coats, the Barbour wardrobe includes trousers, shirts, socks, knitwear and a range of accessories.

Nevertheless, in whichever area the company now operates, it remains true to its core values as a family business which espouses the unique values of the British Countryside and brings the qualities of wit, grit and glamour to its beautifully functional clothing.”

Source: http://www.barbour.com/

Hope you enjoyed the Barbour history. Time to do some shopping now! Lots of love, H&L Vintage, xx 




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S/S 2014 Vintage Inspired Trends

Coming back to London Fashion Week and New York Fashion Week we would like to make a quick review of what to wear this Spring and later in the Summer as the snow must have melted for good now! Even though there was none this Winter in Great Britain, we are pretty sure all of us felt as freezing as it was an ice age in here anyway! Ok now, we think it is this time of a year finally when you can leave your house in the morning, wearing something light without any hypothermic side effects. Coming to the point – short descriptions and photos. May all of these inspire you to find similar pre-loved pieces at our Asos Marketplace Boutique under the name of Harper & Lewis Vintage. Yes we know, long time no see…Hence, feeling even more excited as always we would like to wish you Happy Shopping! xx

Main slogans this Spring & Summer

Ornate Linear / Blue & White / Graphic Pop / Ghoslty Florals / Tropical Utopia / Scientific Nature / Future Nouveau / Acid Stripe / Structured Geometry / Architectural Lines / Infinity Drawings / Ombre Stripes / Orchid Lace Patterns / Abstract Overlays / Exotic and Exuberant Florals / Bejewelled Photomontages / Statement Prints / Animal Idols / Vivid Brashness / Leopard and Zebra Prints / Peacock Feathers and Parrot Plumage / Ballet Russes Inspired / Picasso Style Paintings / Jigsaw Puzzle Colour Blocking / Graphic and Type Abstracts /Primary Colour and Pastel Use / Goth Inspired Prints / Faded Film Stills / Signature Lip Motifs / Sepia Tones and Coloured Hues / Scattered Layout / Floral Clusters / Fine Art Painterly Prints / Romantic Distressed Blooms / Worn-out Textured Looks / Oil Paint Palettes

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Picasso Paintings Inspired Patterns. Have you seen PRADA’s collection yet? Absolutely mind blowing.

Main colours this Spring & Summer

1 Dazzling Blue / 2 Violet Tulip / 3 Radiant Orchid / 4 Celosia Orange / 5 Freesia / 6 Cayenne / 7 Placid Blue / 8 Paloma / 9 Sand / 10 Hemlock

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Quick Look Back at the Cat Walks 

Ego-Boosting Louis Vuitton. Our favourite one of all times.


How to Wear: Just Rock’n’Roll it ..

Future Florals House of Holland

Floral prints also seen at: Mulberry, Jonathan Saunders, Stella McCartney, Erdem


Floral prints, 3D blooms and pretty applique botanicals brought lawn borders to the catwalk this season. While some designers went classic with bold prints, others riffed on the theme. Mary Katrantzou’s jewel encrusted 3D posies and Christopher Kane’s phytotomy were a case in point.

How to wear: Team your neon florals and botanical blooms with edgy attitude and offbeat accessories, like metallic glam rock accessories, sky high sandals or chilled-out trainers. The two tribes within this trend are polar extremes – it’s either the lady-like treatment or sassy urbanite styling.



Pink Ladies by Burberry Prorosum

Also seen at: Prada, Stella McCartney, Victoria Beckham, Giles, Antonio Berardi


How to wear: Fashion’s fickle eye hasn’t quite moved on from pink. There’s still plenty of style mileage left in the hue that makes boys wink. Best worn as one hero-piece, such as a coat or jacket, or be shameless and wear pink head-to-toe. You go, girls!

Pleats Please Celine

As seen at: Proenza Schouler, Alexander Wang, Gucci


Schoolgirl pleats were given a luxe upgrade at LFW with foiled finishes, ombre’d effects and premium fabrics making the look completely grown up.

How to wear: Go for tight pleats on dresses, skirts and accessories. The broader pleat is a thing of the past… Well, for now.



Matchy (Mis-)Matchy: Alexander McQueen

Shredded Denim

Frayed denim offered a hip update on jeans for Spring. Dresses, tops and skirts looked nonchalent and brought a hint of the street to the runways. The look also offered London’s cool girls a new season wardrobe for Spring.


Left to Right: Marques Almeida, Marios Schwab, Ashish



Pretty pastels were pumped up this season with a striking palette of germolene, spearmint and Parma-violet. Head to toe and tonal combinations are the only way to go.


From left to right: Burberry, Giles, Christopher Kane, David Koma, Sister by Sibling, Emilia Wickstead

 The Mullet Dress


From left to right: Emilia Wickstead, Antonio Berardi, Erdem, PPQ, Alice Temperley, Antonio Berardi

All party at the front and business at the back, the lop-sided mullet dress has long been a favourite with Hollywood starlets looking to create drama on the red carpet. Antonio Berardi’s mis-matched skirt hems paired with sweaters show that the style is not just for blow out nights – it can also work for a modern take on cocktail dressing.

Hope you feel inspired to get some wicked vintage pieces of Harper & Lewis now – Spring is just by the cornet – GET READY

Happy Shopping, xx


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Wax Jackets


Welcome back to Rainy England!
Harper & Lewis Vintage Wax Jackets are yours for the asking.

Barbour Jackets Available.

Hundreds of Flight Jackets for chillier days are waiting for you as well.


Happy Shopping!

H&L Vintage,xx ♥

ASOS Boutique


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Credits © Kinga Leftska

Flight Jackets


Switch to Autumn mode with our Flight Jackets.


Flight Jackets

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The flight jacket, bomber jacket, or bombardier jacket refers to a garment originally created for the pilots. They eventually became part of popular culture and apparel.

The history of the Flight Jacket has had a long and colorful history from it’s inception during the early 1900’s. During World War I, when pilots flew by airplanes which did not have enclosed cockpits, they were quick to wear whatever they could find and afford to keep them sufficiently warm. In 1915 while serving in Belgium and France, the Royal Flying Corps pilots begun wearing long leather coats – the trend caught on. In September 1917, The US Army established the Aviation Clothing Board and began distributing heavy duty leather flight bomber jackets with high wraparound collars, snug cuffs and waists, zipper closures with wind flaps and some fringed and lined with fur.  The American Flight Bomber Jacket was born.


As aerospace technology later improved, the altitudes at which aircraft operated increased. Most heavy bombing rides in Europe during World War II took place from altitudes of at least 25,000 ft, where ambient temperatures could reach as cold as -50 °C (-58 °F). The cabins of the planes were uninsulated, hence a warm and thick flight jacket was an essential piece of equipment for every member of the crew.

The first classic sheepskin flying jacket was designed and manufactured by Leslie Irving. He set up a manufacturing company in the United Kingdom in 1926. Since then he became the main supplier of flying jackets to the Royal Air Force during World War II. However, the demand for the jackets was so great during that period that he engaged sub-contractors and that explains why there are so many variations of design and colour that can be seen in early production of Irvin’s flying jackets during that period.

During few decades few various designs of the flight jackets were born.



1930’S A-2

The A2 type was a waist length leather jacket with two front patch pockets and webbing attached to the bottom of it and the end of the sleeves to close out the air in addition to shoulder epaulets.



1940’S G-1

The Type G1 was somewhat different than the Type A2. Its’ body was more form fitted with a longer waist webbing at the bottom and a Mouton Collar. Where the A2 used metal snaps on the front patch pockets, the G1 used buttons. The Type G1 also featured a By-Swing Back for easier arm movement.



1940’S B-10 Series

The B-10 was the first of the non leather jackets to become popular with pilots and air crews. The B-10 was far lighter and much warmer than the Type A2 issued leather jacket which came with just a thin lining that did not offer the pilot much warmth at a high altitude.


Marilyn Monroe wearing model B-15

The B-15 was issued in late 1944 and soon replaced the B10. Styles of the period ranged from the cotton twill B-series and the standardized flight jacket of the Navy, the CWU-series. The material selected for the jacket was a high quality nylon. The B-15 was similar to the MA-1 except that it had a mouton fur collar.



1950’S MA-1

The first MA-1 are known as “Jacket Flyers”, Man’s Intermediate Type MA-1. The MA-1 was perhaps the most popular of all flight jackets developed. The original MA-1 was designed with a high quality nylon outer shell and a nylon lining with a double faced wool material. After a few years, the wool interlining was replaced by the newly developed polyester fiber filling instead. The polyester made the jacket much lighter and provided warmth. Also the MA-1 discarded the mouton fur collar of the B-15 as it interfered with the parachute harness worn by the aviators. In later models, the MA-1 jacket was made reversible and added a bright Indian Orange lining. The reason being if the plane crashed, the pilot could reverse the jacket to the orange side to signal rescue personnel.
Early models of the MA-1 contained a front tab where the pilot could clip his oxygen mask when not in us. The early models had also sewn loops to hold the wires running from the radio to the pilot’s helmet.

CWU Series

CWU Series

The MA-1 in Popular Culture

Today there are millions of people wearing variations of MA-1s daily throughout the world. The item has been adopted by subcultural movements and in particular Mods and Skinheads.


This Is England – 2007

1970’S CWU-36/P and CWU-45/P

One of the problems associated with the older MA-1 was the discovery that with the nylon materials used on the jackets, they had a propensity to melt on the wearer when subjected to flames encountered during an aircraft fire. This problem was corrected with the new flight jackets. The predecessor to the 36/P and 45/P was the CWU-17/P developed around 1973. In 1977, the jacket was renamed the CWU-45/P (military specification MIL-J-83388A) and the detachable signal pocket that the feature of the CWU-17/P (military specification MIL-J-83388B) was reduced in size. In 1980, the lip of the collar was reduced slightly. Moreover, the rear action pleats where reduced in size (military specification MIL-J-83388C). In 1984, the stitching of the collar was simplified (military specification MIL-J-83388D). So you can date these jackets by the different military specification designations.

Here at Harper and Lewis we’ve got more than 600 flight jackets for you to hunt through. Find a perfect one with its own history.

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Happy Shopping, H&L Vintage, xx

ASOS Marketplace


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Credits © Kinga Leftska

The Forgotten Judies

Who doesn’t love a kick-ass female vintage inspiration? This week we were absolutely inspired by the 1950s gang. Androgynous, preppy, stylish, black and white – another great tomboy style inspiration.

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london teddy_boys (1)

You might have heard of the Teddy Boys – also known as Teds – a 1950s British rebel youth subculture characterized by an Edwardian dandies inspired style of dress which famous tailors from Savile Row Street in Central London had attempted to re-introduce in Britain after World War II. Teds were basically a generation of rich kids leaving school. In 1950s the National Service imposed two years in the Army (boys aged 18 – 20) and because the young adults had money to spend they saw no purpose in taking on poorly paid apprenticeships when they would learn a trade in the Army anyway. These wealthy young men, mostly Guards officers, were educated well, had money, and they took on the new outfit style and cranked it up a level. At that time, the Edwardian era was then just over 40 years earlier, and their grandparents or even their parents, wore the style the first time around. The kids were out of control, and worse still, even after spending two years in the Army didn’t make a lot of them settle down. Teddy Boys became the image of villainy and thuggery in a society which regarded them as being totally ‘beyond the pale’. To make matters even worse, a new music craze called ‘Rock’n’roll’ arrived which immediately became identified with these awful rebellious people.Teds formed many gangs across London – from East London to North Kensington and became high profile rebels in the media.


Teddy Boys and Teddy Girls became associated with and American rock and roll  music, prior to the advent of that genre, Teddy Boys primarily listened and danced to jazz and skiffle music. A well-known dance that the Teddy Boys adopted was The Creep (hence the name of the creeper shoes!) a slow shuffle that was so popular with Teddy Boys that it led to their other nickname, Creepers. The song “The Creep” came out in 1953, and was written and recorded for HMV by Ken Mackintosh. Although this was not a rock and roll record, it was widely taken on by the Teddy Boys of the time. From 1955, rock and roll was adopted by the Teddy Boys when the film, Blackboard Jungle, was first shown in cinemas in the UK, and Teddy Boys started listening to artists like Elvis Presley, Bill Haley and Eddie Cochran.

Teddy Boys on Kings Road, Chelsea.

But an important 1950s forgotten subculture of the Teddy Boys, an unlikely female element, has remained all but invisible from historical records. Meet Judies – The Teddy Girls.

teddy girl

Teddy Girls were just a little-known aspect of Teddy Boys subculture – the working class Londoners. The Teddy Girls are considered to be the first British female youth subculture. They, as a group, remain historically almost invisible.  Not many photos of them were ever taken and the only article on the female representation of Teds was published in the 1950s. They were unfortunately considered less interesting than the Teddy Boys.


Teddy boy culture was a ‘run-away’ from the family into the street and the cafe.  They were spending their evening on trips ‘into town’. Teddy Girl were just dressing up and going out, either with boy-friends or, as a group of girls, with a group of boys – within the same subculture naturally.


We’re here to talk about the fashion though. To get The Teddy Girls style we need to start from the roots – Teddy Boys’ style. The Teddy Boys wore long drape jackets usually in dark shades, velvet trim collars, slim ties and rolled up trousers usually exposing the socks. They also began to pair the look with thick rubber-soled creeper shoes and the ‘greaser’ hairstyles of their American rock’n’roll idols.

Teddy girls would still dress up in their own drape jackets, rolled-up jeans, flat shoes, tailored jackets with velvet collars and put their feminine spin on the Teddy style with straw boater hats, brooches, espadrilles and elegant clutch bags. Their choice of clothing was not only for aesthetic effect: these girls were collectively showing their rejection of post-war austerity. The important fact is – they were young working-class women, often from Irish immigrant families who had settled in the poorer districts of London — Walthamstow, Poplar and North Kensington. They would typically, similarly to the Teddy Boys, leave school at the age of 14 or 15, and work in factories or offices. Teddy Girls spent much of their free time buying or making their trademark clothes.


This week Herper and Lewis vintage is all inspired by the rebellious Teddy Girls’ style. The 1950s tomboy masculine style cannot be forgotten. The Teddy Girls and Teddy Boys were considered to be a shame subculture od the 1950s. Say nothing of troublesome reputation of Teddys – well, in fact most of the violence and vandalism was exaggerated by the media, but there were notably a few gangs that chose a darker path – their stylish masculine outfits had a great impact in subcultures’ styles.






50s Teddy Girls Tomboy style – ponytail, plain white bottomed up men’s shirt, 70s waistcoat, black rolled up trousers and Dr Martens boots. Masculine minimalist style perfect for work and business meetings.



Another smart Judies’ inspired look – white shirt, black pencil skirt and all important for Teddy Girls accesories – elegant clutch bag and black and white scarf.



We did not forget about the tailored jacket. Here in combo with a pencil skirt and a white blouse with a ribbon – you can also go for the black ribbon around your neck for even more edgy look.

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Looking for something more feminine but still 50s gang inspired? Put a black boat neck dress on and do not forget the black or white neck-band. The point here is to add lots of visual interest to the black color scheme by playing with accesories.

Go with black and white combos for special occasions. It’s a timeless look that takes great to sexy fabrics like lace or silks.

Now – go black & white tomboy masculine style with Harper and Lewis Vintage.

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I ♥ 80s

All Trends Make a Comeback

Who remembers 80s fashion showed up on the night time soaps like Dynasty or on the first Madonna’s video clips? – boxy shoulders, large buttons and necklaces.
80s blazers with footballers’ shoulders best look in combo with light washed Levi’s 501 shorts or chlorine soaked jeans with the top blue denim lyer removed. Cut-offs, white jeans with blue undertones and 80s boyfriend oversized jackets – everything available now – at Harper & Lewis Vintage. xx



Boyfriend blazers available here

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