Tuesday, March 29, 2011

#1784 Barkers has launched a magazine and started making clothing you'd be proud to wear

Photos: Steve Tilley for 1972 (click to enlarge)

Barkers Men's Clothing (BMC) opened its doors in 1972. I was a mere twinkle in my father's eye at that point, so my memory of vintage Barkers only extends back as far as the 90s when everybody who was anybody was rocking a pair of the labelled sweatpants alongside that tee shirt printed with an image of three power-dressed guys. More recently, Barkers has been seriously upping its game in the menswear department – first, with the introduction of Little Brother to their stores; more recently, with the appointment of Paul Biddle as Merchandise Manager (Creative Director, in English); and now, with the launch of 1972, an in-house magazine complete with articles and profiles of prominent Kiwi men (this issue includes All Blacks coach Graham Henry, Flying Nun founder Roger Shepherd and Little Brother boss Murray Crane).

According to Barkers, "We are all familiar with the expensive and time consuming process of putting [a lookbook] together, only to have it languish un-loved and un-thumbed in our stores. We thought; why not just make a magazine, something for people to read, something interesting and relevant?? We’ve put together a great line-up of some of New Zealand’s best journalists and columnists to interview some of the people Barkers collaborate with, as well as write features and columns about subjects we feel that you, our customers, will find entertaining and enlightening."

I was given a preview of the new Barkers collection last week, and it includes a few pieces that I literally could not believe were created by a New Zealand chainstore. The peacoats are amazing, as is the merino knitwear (in eight colours) and there's even a lambswool fair isle sweater in the mix. The shirting is still erring a bit on the rugby/Friday night clubwear side and the suits are largely black, but it's a hell of a good start.

I also got up close and personal with the Little Brother duffle coat and it is a triumph – the best $399 menswear jacket I've seen come out of this country. (For the record, I have no commercial ties whatsoever with Little Brother, besides the fact that they occasionally advertise on this blog.)

The collection has been dropping into store over the past few weeks so do go check it out. And pick up a copy of 1972 while you're at it. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.









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14 comments:

fashion westie said...

My Uncle rocked those bad boy Barkers trackies in burgundy. He probably still has them.

They have come far. Looking good. [Barkers now, not the trackies :-)]

LoulouBlue said...

I've had my eye on that grey Argyle looking sweater for me! Been searching Akld high & low for decent, not outrageous pricey womens' knitwear...(to no avail)

Indiana Munn said...

I've got my eye on the amethyst merino knit!

www.toindigo.bogspot.com

Jimmy said...

they're looking really good. but the problem is the nicer they look the more noticeable they are and with the amount they sell you going to see someone else with it and lets face it guys we care if we see someone wearing the same thing. on another note they are doing some really great staples.

Atp_roddick said...

Seems very similar to the photographic direction Hallensteins shot 2 years ago with the same talent. Nbd.

Laz Gsk said...

wow jealous much ?

No offense but Hallenstieins and Barkers should not even be used in the same sentence ..

Jimmy said...

why not? they have in the pass had the exact same pieces from the same suppliers.

Laz Gsk said...

big difference between a well constructed piece using good fabrics and a cheap version of the same piece that looks kinda like it.... I would hardly call that "exact same" ... and just because two brands use the same suppliers doesn't mean they can be compared at the same level..

Jimmy said...

No i do mean the exact same piece made exactly the same place and time. I know this as a fact, this was sometime ago now. Both companies now do mostly vertical. yes i completely agree with you same suppliers/manufactures does not mean same level of quality.

Derekhenderson1 said...

yeah your right same talent shot 2 years ago by myself....

waja said...

Anyone likes Hallensteins' new "brothers" models?

Indiana Munn said...

I've got my eye on the amethyst merino knit!

www.toindigo.bogspot.com

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