- June 1st 2017
To celebrate the launch of our SS17 Barbour International Icons collection, we sat down with influential model Richard Biedul, who you may recognise from our London Fashion Week Mens presentation in January and get his take on style, authenticity and the humble t-shirt.
Richard wears the iconic Barbour International Original Wax Jacket.
Our Steve McQueen collection is now in its 12th season and is becoming an iconic part of the Barbour International range in its own right. Steve McQueen was a wearer of Barbour International - what do you think defines being iconic today?
Personally, I believe that an icon, more specifically a style icon, in this day and age should be more than just a clothes horse. They should look good, effortlessly, authentically and most importantly independently. They should know their own mind, and not be afraid to use it. They should be intelligent, articulate and inspirational and have charm, charisma and a character that men can either relate or aspire to.
Steve McQueen’s most iconic period was in the 60’s and when he famously wore Barbour International when competing in the International Six Day Trials. Do you think his iconic status is still as relevant today as it was then?
If you’ve ever read about his exploits in the International 6 Day Trials or watched The Great Escape you will know that this man is more than just an icon. He has transcended through popular culture to become something completely unique. He has super-star ability on a motorcycle and movie-star ability on the cinema screen. From a simple t-shirt to a tailored suit, Steve McQueen was effortlessly cool.
The collection this season features a number of printed t-shirts of iconic Steve McQueen moments. Why do you think that the t-shirt has become and iconic piece of clothing – a classic in any man’s wardrobe?
For me, the t-shirt became an essential item of my wardrobe the moment I first saw James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause. But, more generally, I think it is the diverse and potentially varied nature of the garment itself that has led to the t-shirt becoming such an iconic piece of clothing.
The beauty of the t-shirt is two fold: Firstly; it is never out of season, it can be worn as outerwear during the spring/summer and as a functional under-layer during autumn/winter. It can be worn with almost anything, and if styled correctly the t-shirt can be worn to almost any occasion;
Secondly; the t-shirt is essentially a blank canvas, capable of transformation into anything. From fashion statement to political statement, a t-shirts unique detailing can help the wearer identify with and/or attract those around them with similar interests, aspirations or outlooks on life.
Above Steve McQueen Tread Wax Jacket, Steve McQueen Wit Slim Fit Shirt, Steve McQueen Rickson Polo, Steve McQueen Catch T-Shirt, Steve McQueen Smile T-Shirt.
Who do you feel are today’s modern cultural icons and who should we keep any eye on for the future?
I don't think that you need look much further than some of the current leading lights in British film, music and fashion.
In film, Jack O'Connell, Jaime Dornan and Riz Ahmed are as impeccably dressed as they are talented. In music, Jordan Stephens, with his alternative approach to fashion and his active interest in politics and in raising awareness of mental health issues makes him the very definition of an icon in my mind. In fashion, you need to look no further than the ubiquitous David Gandy, Oliver Cheshire and Jack Guinness who combined are the very definition of the modern British gentleman.
Oliver Cheshire at the Barbour International London Fashion Week Mens Presentation January (right)
If you were to select some items from the SS17 Barbour International Steve McQueen collection that you think are the iconic items in the range, what would you go for?
The brilliant thing about the current collection is that it maintains the authenticity and heritage of Barbour International whilst drawing inspiration from the current ath-leisure and casual wear trends. Standout items such as the caster suede jacket, the oil field quilted jacket; and the washed 9665 jacket, provide a contemporary take on the traditional Barbour International aesthetic.
Above Steve McQueen Caster Suede Jacket, Steve McQueen Rebel Slim Fit Shirt, Steve McQueen Leap T-Shirt, Regular Denim Jeans.
Discover more from the Barbour International Icons collection with our Steve McQueen and Triumph ranges.