For dongpieces like me, brands can feel a bit diluted, a little less essential when they indulge in too much collaboration. Take White Mountaineering. A cool, Japanese, outdoorsy brand, fairly difficult to get hold of and priced in a way that dissuades the casual buyer – on the whole, broadly my market. However, for me, their colabs with mainstream brands have come too fast. Barbour x White Mountaineering, Adidas x White Mountaineering… Yak. Don’t get me wrong, I am fully aware what a puritanical anus I sound like, what a pompous, uncompromising snob I actually am. I know this, I’m just not massively bothered. I don’t want to wear Adidas or Barbour – even if their DNA is somehow spliced with a more left-field, interesting brand.
Anyway, this here sweat is 1000% White Mountaineering – completely free from the red jeaned prodding of Barbour’s design hoorays.
The only downside to 1000% White Mountaineering is the % more it costs to buy. This sweatshirt, which I rather like by the way, comes in at 275 English coins. That’s a lot to de-trouser.
It’s, “created from a technical jersey,” and comes, “equipped with grid-knit panels to the sides to allow the body to breath easily,” but, you know, it’s still 275 coins… If you’re in that game, solid. If you’re not, I don’t know what to say, maybe just quietly sidle your browser elsewhere.
It’s got some pretty laser details. There are some blue on navy insert details and that zipped kangaroo pocket is a killer. It’s simple, no doubt, but then all bros need a strong basics game in their ‘drobe. And yes, it’s expensive, but in this instance I’m happy to keep my lifestyle colab free. I’d rather be 0% Barbour, thus remaining 100%, well, not wearing Barbour.
Rubs both ways with the outcome splattering on both parties.
British country clobber becomes generic urban shitery.
German sportswear firm gets mixed up with fashion bods.
Vs cheque book lure and discount bins.
It’s all a bit like an episode of the Apprentice.
Who I can only imagine are the target market.
I’m not averse to a spot of Barbour, they have made some nice stuff in their time. Recently though they seem to have completely lost their direction. The WM collab was awful, as was the Land Rover gear. The Steve McQueen stuff was kind of on track, but spoiled by massively overdone logos. The first collab with Norton & Sons had some great jackets, but round two was completely wank. That WM sweatshirt though? I think the label does a conjuring trick on you. Remove it and it looks like something H&M would knock out.