Barbour International: Duncan Barbour’s Legacy

Discover how in 1936 Duncan Barbour followed his passions and started the Barbour International brand.

March 9th 2017
We marked the launch of the SS17 Barbour International collection with our #ForTheeFreeSpirited campaign. Today’s collection is inspired by an attitude of those who believe in not always following a conventional route and throughout our campaign we’re uncovering the profiles of some of today’s free spirits.
Inspired by these characters, we have decided to pay homage to our own free spirit, Duncan Barbour who joined the family business in 1928. 
Duncan Barbour was the only son of Malcolm Barbour and the grandson of founder John Barbour. The third generation of the Barbour family, he was to have a significant impact on shaping the Barbour business of the future. 
A keen motorcyclist, Duncan introduced into the range a one-piece wax cotton suit called the Barbour International.  Developed specifically for the 1936 International Six Day Trials (ISDT) event, the Barbour International became so popular that it was worn by almost every British team right up until 1977. 
In the 1954 ISDT, over 70% of all riders wore one and in 1964, the International was worn by the entire USA team which included stunt rider Bud Ekins, and his actor friend, Steve McQueen. They were worn in other areas of motorcycle sport too; by army motorcycle display teams, and by the patrolmen of 14 different police forces. 
Barbour International remains Duncan’s outstanding legacy to our business. Over the years our motorcycle inspired collections have grown in popularity and in 2013 Barbour International became a standalone brand. 
The Barbour International Original Wax Jacket
 Pictured our B.Intl Original Wax Jacket.
The iconic Barbour International Original Wax Jacket that Duncan introduced is still available for men and women to buy today. The jacket largely remains the same as the 1936 version with traditional biker jacket details that include the buckle-fastening throat strap, adjustable studded cuffs, a stiffened waist belt and the trademark four studded pockets – one of which on the men’s version is the authentic slanted map pocket, designed to give easy access while riding. 
Discover the full men’s and women’s Barbour International collections online and instore.