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The Barbour Quilted Jacket

When I was at college I was asked to find an object the defied the class divide and that was ubiquitous in modern society. After a lot of thought I decided that clothing was probably the best place to start looking for such an item as it is something that we use everyday and no matter were you are on the social ladder you have to stay warm and covered.

Having decided on my subject matter I then looked for a company that had started from humble root and which had been taken on by the upper crust. I worked my way through the likes of Marks and Spencer and other obvious high street choices but non of them seemed dynamic enough, and non of them had came to represent both the lower classes in such a fashion that it became the uniform of the these people.

But then I came across Barbour and British company which had its root in the docks of the North East. Once I had found out that they also have the Royal Warrants for producing protective clothing I realised that I had found my company, now all I had to do was to narrow it down to one item from the collection.

My first thoughts were to look at the Barbour International Jacket but even though it has been used by motorcyclists from all walks of life I felt it only represented a niche part of society, apart from motorcyclist and the odd Hollywood star you didn't really see it everyday.

So then I took a different route and started looking at photos of kids in the London Boroughs and at people doing sports that you would associate with the upper classes and one thing a lot of the pictures had in them was the Quilted Jacket not always by Barbour but on further investigation I found out that even if they weren't Barbour Jackets then they were a copy of one.

I had found my object, they were in urban rap videos, you could see farmers wearing them whilst working in the fields, Gentlemen wore them whilst hunting and clay pidgin shooting and they are officially supplied to the Royal Household. I couldn't think of anything else that had been taken on as uniform by so many different layers of society and it the Barbour Quilted Jacket did not look out of place in any of the places I found it.

Now how has the Barbour Quilted Jacket been able to infiltrate all of these levels of society.

They are built to a very high standard and whether your in the fields hunting or on the city street corner you need top keep warm.

They have a very British feel which people like to be associated with no matter what level you are at in society. In fact at the very top and the very bottom of the ladder this feeling is even stronger.

The Quilted Jacket has been available at different price points. You can pick one up reasonably cheaply on the High Street and you can find them in well appointed shops.

Barbour has never marketed the jacket at any particular target audience, so no one section feels alienated.

There is no loud or obvious branding which can get tarnished over time.

So my conclusion is that when an object is built to a high standard and when it is not marketed to a particular group then there is a good chance that it could be taken on by all levels in society. And when the item is functional and available at different price points then it will permeated through the population. Also when the item has a not been marketed heavily and it doesn't carry branding there is little chance that it will fall in and out of fashion, instead it will just keep slowly growing in the background.

I feel that the Barbour Quilted Jacket ticks all of these boxes and that it will steadily carry on being an object that binds all levels of society together in a unified identity.