Ditte Reffstrup, Ganni's creative director, describes the upcycled capsule collection as "future classics"
Collaborations hold serious fashion currency. Two brands who don’t need us to tell them that? Ganni and Barbour. The Scandi-cool success story and British heritage favourite have been joining forces with like-minded peers for some time, and now, despite perhaps appearing worlds apart, they’re batting for the same team.
Ganni X Barbour is a two-part outerwear-focused activation that involves a ready-to-wear line and a “re-loved” offering, comprising 50 exclusive upcycled and reworked jackets. Think: waxy cotton macs stamped with a bold joint logo, check quilted coats that are more cool-girl than Queen-inspired, and bucket hats that positively encourage downpour. Sound familiar? The peppiest of the outdoor wear debuted on the Ganni spring/summer 2023 runway at Copenhagen Fashion Week, styled with leopard-print coords and combats.
For Ganni creative director Ditte Reffstrup, it was love at first Barbour, when she saw Kate Moss and co take on Glastonbury in their khaki utility jackets. Just like Levi’s, with whom Ganni has also worked, Barbour conjures up a feeling of timelessness and integrity for her. Reffstrup’s mission as the younger upstart from across the continent? “To shake things up”.
“It was a bit like pulling all the best recipes for a cookbook,” explains Reffstrup, who took her brand’s signature collars and whipped them up in cosy corduroy to complement Barbour’s classic patchworked tartan. “It was easy because the product is so good.” Nicola Brown, director of womenswear at Barbour, agrees: “Respect, for me, is what makes a great collaboration.” There is no doubt that the line of “future classics” stays true to the unique DNA of both brands.
Formulated in lockdown, when travel restrictions meant Ganni couldn’t physically decamp from Scandinavia to South Shields, Reffstrup was still surprised at the familial atmosphere at the heart of Barbour, where the same experienced workers have been waxing jackets for decades. “Sometimes we’re afraid of losing that spirit,” shares Ditte, who has had to navigate Ganni’s rapid expansion process. “We’ve learned that it can be organic if you stay true to your own values.”
For Barbour, it was a delight to see the lifespan of its signature pieces extended as a fashion-forward proposition that will open up a new market. “The re-loved collection looks at each garment as an individual and almost couture piece, re-worked to inject a new life with the use of deadstock fabrics, denim and embroidery detailing,” notes Nicola, who has helped steer the country casuals label towards a more modern proposition. It will be interesting to see what these two power women, and the brands they lead, take forward from this happy-making outerwear union.