BRIDGING THE GAP: BARBOUR & EMMA BRIDGEWATER

Country-inspired ceramics and heritage clothing collide this season thanks to a creative collaboration between Emma Bridgewater and Barbour...
Emma Bridgewater standing by her collection.

Designed with the great British countryside in mind, the collection includes wax jackets, gilets, shirts, knits and accessories. Elysia Fryer checks in to explore the collection…

All gorgeous, country kitchens need the Emma Bridgewater stamp. How did your business come about and what inspires it?

In 1985 I was looking for a really special cup and saucer for my mum’s birthday, but everything was either too formal or too clunky. That was my eureka moment.

I realised there was a gap in the market for pottery that was beautiful and practical – pottery that reflected the relaxed, colourful, mismatched home I’d grown up in.

For me, a kitchen (in the city or the country) should be warm and welcoming, and preferably with a dog on the sofa and shelves full of lovely pottery.

What do you love most about being in the countryside, and how does this influence your designs?

We design with the product we would like to have ourselves in mind, we don’t follow trends.

Our Rise & Shine collection for example, was directly inspired by real bantams such as the ones my mother had when I was child.

A particularly generous crop of tomatoes a few years ago inspired a bowl covered in beautifully illustrated tomatoes, which was the beginning of the now much-loved Vegetable Garden collection.

A day in the life of you?

No two days are ever the same as my time is split between several locations.

Firstly, in Oxford where I live, and I also spend a great deal of time in Stoke-on-Trent – where our factory is – to review designs, check in with the production team, and oversee events.

I also spend some time in our head office in London with my design, marketing and buying teams. There is never a dull moment.

We’re very excited about your collaboration with Barbour, how did this come about?

It felt like something was falling into place when the discussions first began some time ago; this collaboration just felt so natural.

I love and trust Barbour coats, they combine style and function so well. And, of course, I am really proud to be working with another brand that values British manufacturing.

What can buyers expect to see?

It has been very rewarding to re-invent some older patterns to make them work for the Barbour collection.

As a simple rule, our team designs things that we would like to have, things for our own home life, which I think is important.

Barbour items in your wardrobe?

I’ve always turned to Barbour to keep me cosy and dry, it is an essential for damp English weather. I especially like the Barbour x Emma Bridgewater wax jacket with the lining sprinkled with our classic lettering, it feels like the ideal combination of familiar elements from both of our brands.

How have you enjoyed working with a brand in the North East?

I have some family connections in Northumberland and have enjoyed loads of lovely holidays in the area. Lindisfarne is one of my very favourite places, and Bamburgh beach is the perfect place for a wind-swept walk.

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not designing?
I love spending time outdoors, and try to make that a priority whenever I can with walking and cycling.


The Barbour x Emma Bridgewater collection is available to buy now on barbour.com and via selected Barbour stockists. barbour.com emmabridgewater.co.uk

Related Stories