SS20 Wilderness Collection: Ben and Marina Fogle Q&A

SS20 Wilderness Collection: Ben and Marina Fogle Q&A

To celebrate the launch of the SS20 Wilderness Collection curated by Ben and Marina Fogle, we sat down with both to learn more about how the spring/summer Wilderness Collection came together, and how it has moved on from the last collection with Barbour.

Ben Fogle wears SS20 Wilderness Collection

What drove you to curate a second collection with Barbour?

Ben and Marina: We love nature, we love the outdoors and we love Barbour so it’s a really natural partnership for us. This second collaboration with Barbour was so much fun to work on and we’re really proud of how the collection has come together.

What were you most excited about when approaching this second collection?

Ben: I was most excited about the smock. The green Keswick smock from our first collection sold out instantly and they have become collector’s items already. This time we have a beautiful orange smock that is based on an old vintage smock that I have used for many years.

Marina: I love spending time outdoors, especially at this time of year, so I really enjoyed creating pieces that work particularly well during the spring and summer months.

How have you moved the collection forward from what we saw last season with your inaugural collection? What is different this season and how is it suitable for Spring/Summer?

Ben and Marina: The collection has a little more Fogle DNA. We have slightly obsessive eyes when it comes to detail and we have added some subtle detailing to the SS20 range that is very special to us both.

Ben Fogle wears SS20 Wilderness CollectionMarina Fogle wears SS20 Wilderness Collection

What did you hope to achieve for this collection?

Ben and Marina: We both really hoped that we could build on the success of the first collaboration and that we could really enhance what we had created.

How do you find the design process with Barbour?

Ben and Marina: We loved working with the Barbour team. It is so different to what we both normally do on a day to day basis. It was so much fun spending time with the designers - we both really loved getting to understand the whole process and all of the hard work that goes in to bring a collection like this about!

Where did you get your inspiration for this collection? Did it differ for a spring/summer season?

Ben: The wilderness is my inspiration. I also have a passion for vintage outdoor clothing. I have collected 50s, 60s and 70s outdoorwear for many years now and wanted to bring a classic vintage feel to the practical, timeless Barbour aesthetic.

Marina: I wanted something light weight to cope with the warmer weather and chose the muted colours with inspiration from my favourite flowers in our garden. I have lots of lavender which I pick and pair with alchemilla mollis, often referred to as ‘the Garden Lady’s mantle’, the lighter green colour always reminds me of summer.

Ben Fogle wears SS20 Wilderness CollectionBen Fogle wears SS20 Wilderness Collection

Do you have any favourite pieces from the collection? Why are those your stand-out pieces?

Ben: The orange smock is probably the standout piece for me – I really love bright colours. There’s also a classic beige explorer shirt that I love, it is perfect to wear all summer long!

Marina: I really love the Wickham Quilt, it’s a gorgeous colour and just so easy to throw on top of any outfit! Another favourite is the Wickham dress – the fabric is just gorgeous and the fit is so flattering.

What about the collection are you most proud of?

Ben and Marina: We are very proud of the collaboration in general. We have always admired Barbour and having the chance to work with arguably the finest outdoor brand in the world is a real honour.

What do you enjoy most about working with Barbour?

Ben and Marina: The opportunity to unleash another side of ourselves. We live the whole design process. We care about aesthetics as well as functionality and it has been great fun working with the team.

Do you have a favourite memory from wearing your first Barbour?

Ben: I still have the Barbour. I can remember walking through blue bell wood in West Sussex with my family and two golden retrievers with a pocket full of treats.

Marina: Do you have a favourite memory from wearing your first Barbour? I think my first Barbour actually belonged to my father - I can’t remember if he gave it to me or I stole it, but I remember seeking refuge in how big it was, digging my hands into big deep pockets that always held surprises - whether an interesting shaped stone, some binder twine or (very occasionally) a £1 coin!

What does the Barbour Way of Life mean to you?

Ben and Marina: That’s easy, outdoors - whatever the weather - with the whole family.

Ben Fogle wears SS20 Wilderness CollectionBen Fogle wears SS20 Wilderness Collection

Ben - Menswear

The menswear collection is said to be inspired by the Barbour archive and your love of adventure, how did you combine these two things for this collection?

I love vintage. I have a large collection of vintage Barbour jackets from over the years and we tried to bring a nostalgic feel to the collection. The smock remains the key piece around which the rest of the collection is designed.

How did you select the colourways for the menswear range?

We wanted slightly lighter summer hues. The orange smock brings a happy smile.

Marina Fogle wears SS20 Wilderness Collection

Marina - Womenswear

The womenswear range is so elegant, how did you make sure that it’s still practical and suitable for use outdoors?

As someone who loves spending time outdoors whatever the weather, I first took time to understand the technology behind the jackets, which materials work for the spring and summer months etc. Then, alongside the Barbour design team, we looked at how we could make this work for the collection.

What was the thought process behind the colourways/styles created for the womenswear range?

I was keen to have a wax jacket that would withstand a rainy day but with a more fitted shape, so it didn’t have to be raining for it to be worn. The Endicott Wax is based on a heritage shape that I loved. I made it a little longer for women and added a belt that can be either fastened with a buckle, tied in front or at the back - and for those who don’t want a belt, it can be removed entirely. It has a cuff detail on the sleeve that I continued from my last collection, deep pockets and the wax has a naturally aged look.

I’m a big dress wearer - with wellies if necessary - so I wanted to include something that you would feel comfortable wearing to a chic lunch or a lazy day in the country. The Wickham Dress is linen and looks great worn and crumpled - the style is universally flattering and supremely comfortable. I’ve been living in this piece and love equally the Endicott linen shirt which works beautifully loosely tucked into skinny jeans.

How important is it for you that you dress for both style and practicality?

Incredibly important, both are non-negotiable - clothes have to be practical. Life’s too short to be wearing clothes that don’t work, however great they look. In my 41 years, I’ve learnt the hard way, that a piece has to be practical or there’s no point in buying it.

If a coat looks great but doesn’t keep you dry, there’s no point and you’re going to end up hating it. If clothes are a nightmare to wash, you’ll end up never wearing them. I’ve designed this collection for busy, outdoor-loving women who need their clothes to work but don’t feel like they should compromise on their style.

I have loved wearing this collection. One of the things I love about Barbour as a brand is that all their pieces are designed to get better with age which is one of the primary reasons that I’m so excited to be working with them.

Discover more about the SS20 Wilderness Collection here.