Having done a great job of reinventing themselves with a new tailored cut and a snazzy yellow gold International logo, it appears that Barbour may have scored an own goal. We all remember Burberry’s check being adopted by the masses in the late 90s. Now the International is becoming streetwear, worn increasingly by TOWIE followers.

Although a high turnover of sales must be welcome, it presumably isn’t what Barbour had in mind. With jackets costing a minimum of £180, price obviously isn’t a barrier. So what is it that is appealing to a new working class demographic?

Listening to conversations in stores, it appears that customers are justifying the jackets to themselves as a practical investment that will last, so maybe the new austerity message of buying less but better is a driver. If so will we suddenly see Primark’s profits tumble? Unlikely. The clincher, it appears, lies in the high level branding. Burberry’s check and the yellow gold International logo are identifiable at 20 paces. So although middle England is apparently embracing thrift, in the depths of recession it appears that C2DEs are still looking for a visible emblem of consumerism.

Will it damage Barbour as a brand? Well it has certainly derailed their intentions of targeting urban ABC1 customers who will be dropping the International like a hot rock. Long term though they will simply be able to shear the range off and return to core, unlike Burberry who held the check at the heart of the brand. Next one to watch: Hunter gloss wellies? Let’s see.