The Steve McQueen Collection By Barbour

Traditional jacket maker, J Barbour & Sons, which has seen its popularity soar with hip young stars in recent years has enlisted one of the world’s most famous movie icons for its autumn collections.

They have launched a collection endorsed by the estate of Steve McQueen, nicknamed the “King of Cool“, and based on actual jackets, created by the South Tyneside firm, that the US actor wore.

Since stars including Lily Allen, Alex Turner, of Arctic Monkeys, and actress Sienna Miller took to wearing the waxed country jackets about five years ago their popularity as a lifestyle brand has soared.

A spokeswoman for Barbour said: “I think it is important for us because we are expanding as a lifestyle brand and these collections are part of that.

The firm worked with McQueen’s son, Chad, and the late actor’s estate licensing agent GreenLight, in New York, on the collection.

McQueen, who died in 1980, was an avid racer of both motorcycles and cars, and often wore Barbour jackets for motorcycle sports.

He did so when he represented the US team in the 1964 International Six Day motorcycle trials (ISDT) in East Germany, which saw each rider covering 200 miles a day over various terrain.

The spokeswoman added: “The reason we have done the Steve McQueen collection is that he used to wear Barbour.  It is absolutely fantastic.  We have images of him racing in our clothing, because he was as keen a racer as an actor.”

It took a while. There was a lot of backwards and forwards between ourselves and the estate to make sure everybody was happy with it.  His son, Chad, was involved and all the collection was seen and approved, so we know that his father would have worn that.

Chad McQueen, said: “Barbour jackets were always around and I remember the way they smelled, the way they felt and the weight of them.  I do wear Barbour and, of course, it’s because of the images of my dad on the Triumph. It’s such a cool image that it’s burned into my mind forever.”

Barbour jackets are still made by hand in the factory in Simonside, South Shields, with over 100,000 jackets manufactured each year.

The Barbour Steve Mcqueen Collectio was launched earlier this year. Their special guest was Chad McQueen, the son of legendary film star, motorcycle racer, stuntman and style icon Steve McQueen.  They caught up with Chad and asked him a few questions ….

Your father is often described as the ‘King of Cool’. How would you describe his dress style?

 Classic, elegant, cool and timeless.

Why do you think your father’s dress style is still relevant today?

 Cool doesn’t go out of style.

Knowing the heritage of the brand and the fact that your father is one of its most famous wearers, what does Barbour mean to you?  Is it a brand you feel particularly aligned with?  Do you wear Barbour yourself?

 I have some great memories with the Barbour jackets. They were always around and I remember the way they smelled, the way they felt, and the weight of them.  I do wear Barbour and of course it’s because of the images of my dad on the Triumph.  It’s such a cool image that it’s burned in to my mind forever.

Back in the 60s when your father competed in the ISDT, he wore Barbour.  You are also well known for racing 2 and 4 wheels.  How did you and your father choose the clothes that you wore to race cars/bikes?

Sponsorships started coming in to play in the 70s so that really dictated what I wore while I raced, but I’m sure that Bud’s influence was a big part of my dad’s decision to wear Barbour.

What do you like best about the collaboration with Barbour?
I am happy to be part of the 75th anniversary of the motorcycle jacket with this exciting collaboration.  All of the designs capture my dad’s sense of style and the timing is perfect

– Chad McQueen for Barbour


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