BARBOUR INTERNATIONAL x ENGINEERED GARMENTS
BARBOUR INTERNATIONAL ENLITSTS THE SKILLSET OF ENGINEERED GARMENTS FOR A/W ´21.
Text & Interview: Ali George Hinkins
Straight from the 85-year archive.
Joining forces on a seasonal basis, we have become accustomed to seeing Engineered Garments tap into Barbour’s extensive archive that dates back to 1894. For Autumn/Winter ‘21, they have mixed things up a bit instead fusing Barbour International with Daiki Suzuki’s multifaceted Engineered Garments label – we’ll touch on the difference of this Barbour stand alone shortly.
As we move into the Autumn/Winter season, the weather can get a bit ropey and turbulent so it calls for a tried-and-tested piece of outerwear. If we’re talking outerwear, you can’t go wrong with a heritage-indebted piece from the likes of Barbour International, especially where Engineered Garments is considered.
In turn, the pair has delivered a range of motorcycle-inspired waxed outerwear, bottoms and graphic tees that channel an aesthetic synonymous with Daiki Suzuki.
As we briefly touched on, Barbour has been enlisting Daiki Suzuki’s skills for a couple seasons now, but, where their motorcycle-inspired line, »International«, is concerned this is his debut. You might think this places Daiki in unfamiliar territory but, trust me, he is a vintage aficionado – to put it lightly – and has likely handled countless Barbour International pieces over the years, in addition to owning an iconic A7 jacket.
Acting as a standalone entity to its elder, Barbour International was initially introduced as a motorcycling one-piece suit in 1936 by Duncan Barbour, Malcolm Barbour’s son, specifically for that year’s International Six Days Trial. As a keen motorcycling enthusiast himself he, more than likely, recognised a gap in the market crying out for expertly-crafted, durable gear. Despite the label’s roots in motorcycling, during World War 2 it would go on to serve a different purpose. Impressed by the International one-piece suit, Captain Philips, commander of HM Ursula, asked Barbour to design a pair of trousers and jacket from the suit, they obliged and it was named the »Ursula Suit«. To this day, it remains in the mix.
The one-piece suit would go on to outfit the British team, as well as many of the other international countries, every year until 1977. By the time the 1964 ISTD – International Six Days Trial – rolled around, the suit had undergone countless iterations and upgrades which attracted the attention of the US team including the actor, Steve McQueen, earning Barbour International icon status. Throughout its 85 year lifeline, it has continued to grow and be adopted by casual consumers and enthusiasts alike.
Bringing his revered design sensibilities to the collaboration, Daiki Suzuki – one half of the Nepenthes namesake – is largely inspired by vintage workwear and military garb especially when clothing is concerned. All of this informs his approach and delivery of Engineered Garments, a multi-faceted label that draws on the outdoors, vintage Americana, workwear and more, offering a slew of pocket-heavy cargo pants, Woolrich plaid ensembles and nylon constructed outerwear. As a result, the collaboration effortlessly blends Suzuki’s appreciation of vintage clothing, Barbour International included, with these focal points and the heritage nature of the International label.
To the untrained eye, the outerwear Suzuki has put his touch to may look like the typical Barbour gear that you would see in England’s luscious countryside donned by the locals and farm shop enthusiasts alike. But, when you get into the nitty-gritty, you see otherwise. While these two parties may seem a world apart, it’s a fitting combination of the Japanese sensibilities synonymous with Suzuki’s Engineered Garments moniker combined with Barbour’s devotion to the highest-quality outerwear.
Trawling through Barbour’s extensive archive, Daiki has selected a handful of outerwear styles to put his name to, including the Brookdale Wax Parka and Lincoln Wax. I can picture the designer standing amongst Barbour’s carefully catalogued archive just pondering which silhouette from times gone by to tweak and bring up to his liking. Each style has been adapted slightly in line with the Engineered Garments flair – additional spacious bellowed pockets on the rear and updated cuts, to name a few.
Outerwear remains the focus for the collaboration with waxed black fabrics taking precedent for the construction of each, in turn delivering the following styles: Midtown Wax Vest, Lincoln Jacket, Harlem Wax Jacket, Lenox Wax and the Brookdale Wax Parka Jacket. Even the names of the jackets reflect the roots of both brands with references to Engineered Garments home: New York City.
Inspired by the design of the original A7 International Jacket, the Lenox Wax has had its length altered slightly and features a belt across the midsection. A diagonal chest pocket originally catered for storing maps can be found on the front alongside two lower bellowed pockets, with two also located on the rear.
There are shorter, more lightweight options like the Lincoln and Harlem Wax Jackets that feature a wool lining to ensure warmth despite the lighter construction. Rounding off the outerwear are the Midtown Vest and Brookdale Parka both of which feature that same wax cotton composition and various pockets throughout. Alongside the outerwear is a pair of complementary, fully lined over trousers and playful graphic tees in a distinct Engineered Garments style.
Barbour International x Engineered Garments are now available from HHV’s online store.
Visual Content: Daniel Tran