Q&A: Ian Bergin and Yosuke Aizawa of Barbour x White Mountaineering

throwback thursday

Images by Studio N

Introducing the waviest streetwear/outdoor gear we’ve ever seen: the new capsule collaboration between Barbour and White Mountaineering. We’re biased because we sell it, but believe us when we tell you we love this stuff.

That anorak with those Timberlands? Too clean! The image above shows a Complete Look made by our stylists at Studio N. And if you thought that jacket might also look good with Stan Smiths, another of our Complete Looks confirms you are correct.

For the inside scoop on the English/Japanese team-up, we reached out to Barbour’s head of menswear, Ian Bergin, and White Mountaineering creative director Yosuke Aizawa.

throwback thursday

Nordstrom blogs: What was the initial link between Barbour and White Mountaineering? How did this collaboration happen?
Yosuke Aizawa: My father’s wardrobe always contained some Barbour pieces, and from a young age I became familiar with his waxed jackets. Even when working on my own brand, Barbour has been a brand that I am always aware of. For autumn/winter 2014, we worked on two collaboration pieces that were exclusive to Japan for White Mountaineering. Following that, Barbour proposed to us that we work on a collaborative design for their Beacon Heritage line. I was extremely happy and immediately started thinking about the fusion between Barbour and my own design.

What was the inspiration for the wave pattern in this collection? Our guess is Hokusai’s famous painting, but we’ve been wrong before!
Yosuke Aizawa: When I am involved in this type of collaborative work, I always go and visit the town where the brand I am working with is situated. When I first visited South Shields in the northeast of England where Barbour is located, with their design team, the strongest impression I had was of the ports and the sea. The UK and Japan are both islands, and I felt the ocean was a common feature. It was from here that the inspiration came. I made this rough wave pattern and used it as a way to modernize the clothes. Hokusai isn’t the origin of the design, but it does have a similarity.

Ian Bergin: When Mr. Aizawa first visited Barbour, we took him up to the Northumbrian coast so he could get an understanding of our heritage. When our founder, John Barbour, established the brand back in 1894, he began by supplying oilskins and other garments to protect the growing community of sailors and fishermen, rivermen and dockers from the worst of the British weather, and we are very much a product of our region. Mr. Aizawa was inspired by the crashing waves and rolling seas around the Northumbrian coast, and he incorporated the strength and power of the sea into his wave pattern. It has become a distinctive part of the collection and makes it easily recognizable.

The anorak is beautiful. The tension between matte/shiny surfaces, geometry of the zippers, harmonious shades of blue. All great. Which design flourishes are you most proud of?
Yosuke Aizawa: Of course, jacket types are part of Barbour’s history and therefore I wanted to include an anorak style. Regarding its design, I wanted to find a good way to combine authentic parts with modern design. I used the sharp edge cut I commonly use for White Mountaineering and incorporated that into a new Barbour design.

Ian Bergin: The Barbour x White Mountaineering collection is all about making a statement, and this piece stands out within the collection. It combines key White Mountaineering detailing without losing any of its Barbour DNA. It is a truly collaborative piece.

–Andrew Matson

Shop: Anorak | Wax jacket | Quilted jacket | T-shirt | Cargo shorts | Adidas Stan Smiths | Timberland chukkas

barbour x white mountaineering

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