When Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was choosing what to wear to attend the Formula E in Riyadh this weekend, chances are he wasn’t concerned about sparking a Twitter hashtag.
Yet that is precisely what happened when the heir to the Saudi throne arrived at the all-electric Diriyah E-Prix 2019 racing event wearing a Barbour jacket over his thobe.
The jacket quickly sold out on Farfetch and the Twitter-sphere went into meltdown as the man most commonly known as MBS stepped out in a quilted navy blue Shoveler Barbour jacket, prompting the launch and proliferation of the Arabic hashtag that translates as 'Crown Prince’s Jacket'.
The Crown Prince teamed his Barbour with Tom Ford aviator sunglasses and a keffiyeh and thobe to give a Middle Eastern twist to this very British outdoor staple. He also wore the much-coveted Yeezy Boost 350 V2 sneakers.
Royalty and Barbour have a long and storied history, and the British royals are regularly spotted wearing theirs. The brand is well known for its practical durability, and is ideal for a day spent in the rain.
Barbour jackets – particularly the classic waxed versions – are designed to be worn outdoors all day, every day, and given that the Formula E event saw heavy downpours a year ago, the Crown Prince was presumably taking no chances this time around.
The Shoveler jacket is quilted, not waxed, and is a traditional relaxed cut. Quilted in Barbour’s signature diamond pattern, the jacket also comes with a needle card collar and has a contrasting lining. The pockets have button-down flap coverings, and there is even a zipped pocket for securing precious items.
Barbour coats and jackets came into being in 1894, when John Barbour perfected waterproofing cotton with paraffin wax in Simonside, near Newcastle Upon Tyne, in the UK.
While many people around this time were experimenting with how to make the newly abundant cotton fabric waterproof, Barbour was the first to work out how to do so efficiently and quickly, in a process that is still used today. Realising his new waxing technique offered a level of protection against the dire British weather hitherto unknown, he quickly set about creating jackets, which were an immediate success.
Now still owned by the fifth generation of the Barbour family, Barbour has expanded its range, and is synonymous with outdoor life, and understated British style.