Sam Heughan, 38, plays Jamie Fraser in the hit TV series Outlander, adapted from the Diana Gabaldon books. Living in Glasgow while shooting season four, he was born in Galloway where John Barbour, who founded the family-owned brand in 1894, originated.
As Barbour’s Global Brand Ambassador for the past two years, Heughan promotes and models for the tartan-lined brand as well as working on his own Signature collection.
What is your connection with Barbour?
Since July 2016, I have been Barbour’s Global Brand Ambassador, a role I am very proud and privileged to hold. I was born and raised near where John Barbour lived in the south of Scotland and have always had a strong love of the brand.
How do you go about working with them?
I have a Barbour Sam Heughan Signature collection which reflects my personal style, drawing on my love of the outdoors, Scotland and the heritage of the brand. As their Global Brand Ambassador, I take part in photoshoots, modelling for two of their worldwide campaigns, Shirt Department and Tartan, and have undertaken store appearances, primarily in the US.
Do you have a background in design or a love of fashion?
This is a new adventure for me and I’ve loved learning and collaborating with the design team at Barbour, adding my personal details or preference. It’s a fun collaboration and can be very rewarding when you see the end product.
How would you describe your style?
Something versatile is what I look for, that’ll look good in the mountains of Scotland or on the streets of New York. Practical, fashionable and good quality.
Who are your influences style-wise? Style icons?
I like to draw on past designs in the Barbour archive; it’s fascinating to see how contemporary a heritage piece can be.
Did you wear Barbour designs before you worked with them?
Being Scottish, I grew up with the brand and have always been a big fan. Their clothing is perfect for the outdoors. I have always had a great passion for the company – the fact that it is still family owned and continues to make its traditional wax jackets in South Shields in the Northeast of England makes it pretty special.
What appeals to you about them?
The company has a long history and heritage (since 1894) and their archive goes right back to 1910. They have endured many periods of momentous history and it’s so intriguing to see how Barbour has adapted yet retained its strong identity. It has also been fascinating to see that while the design and styles of the clothing have changed over the years, the founding philosophy of providing quality products that are fit for purpose, durable and functional is still as relevant today as it was in the beginning.
Did you try to put an element of Outlander/Jamie Fraser into the designs at all?
My Barbour Sam Heughan collection reflects my Scottish roots and my love for the great British outdoors and we’ve included tartan and herringbone, giving iconic and familiar textures. It’s subtle but uniquely Scottish.
Talk us through your recent Oscars look, the suit, Montblanc watch (and did you get to keep it?)
Ha, ha I was rather fortunate to be gifted the watch, it’s beautiful! The suit and shoes were Saint Laurent, very sharp.
What would you favour for a more casual look?
Need you ask?!
What’s the one item of clothing you would never throw away?
I have trouble throwing away boots. The more battered they look, the more character they get.
What can you tell us about the costumes on Outlander?
They’re an important and useful tool to tell the story of the character and period, it can really change how one walks, stands etc and give clues to the character’s past and status. It’s fun to build the story in our fittings.
What challenges have you faced in the link with Barbour?
Apart from the glorious Scottish weather, my biggest challenge has been time. Juggling my acting commitments, my charity work and working with Barbour has sometimes been challenging but we always manage to make it work.
What was the biggest surprise along the way?
The biggest surprise was when I met Dame Margaret Barbour and her daughter Helen and in conversation we discovered that I was born in the same rural area in the south of Scotland as founder John Barbour. It felt like an omen.
What is the fun part of it?
The fun part has been working with the Barbour team – they’re all so passionate and knowledgeable about the brand and they have made me feel very much part of the company.
What have you learned?
I’ve learned a lot more about the history and heritage of Barbour and how the design team use inspiration from the archives to create garments relevant for today. It was fascinating to go through the archives and to incorporate some of this history and heritage into my collection.
What is your favourite item from the Barbour collection?
I love all of the collection. If I had to pick out one piece from the current Spring Summer 18 collection, it would be the Barbour Lochy waterproof, breathable jacket. I love its casual style which goes so well with jeans. It’s very lightweight – perfect for the summer months in Scotland where the weather, as we know, can be unpredictable!
What has been your biggest fashion faux-pas?
Oh, I was born in the 1980s… too many to mention.
Are you a true Scotsman or is it too cold for going commando when filming in a kilt in Scotland?
Sigh. Do you wear underwear?
Why is tartan so popular?
It tells a story of heritage. It’s interesting to see the original colours before it was made fashionable by Queen Victoria. It was less uniform and more reflective of local materials and resources.
Do you wear tartan when you’re not at work?
Weddings, parties, sports events and of course any time I wear my Barbour.
Does the tartan and the kilts make the show more popular?
Absolutely. I think the show celebrates Scottish culture and tradition. I’m a proud Scotsman and honoured to bring the best of this to the world.
Sam was out today at the NY Barbour location promoting his signature line. He looks so handsome. Enjoy!
Sam attended his Barbour Signature Collection launch in Macy’s in New York City yesterday. I have added a bunch of new high quality photos of him from the event. He looked so handsome! Enjoy.
I’ve added some new (old) photo session photos of Sam and Caitriona as well as some new Barbour images. I’ve also added a couple behind the scenes/on the set photos of Sam n The Spy Who Dumped Me. Enjoy.
In January, the Barbour team headed to the beautiful and picturesque setting of Crailing Hall, in Crailing on the Scottish Borders, to shoot our SS17 Shirt Department campaign. The day was spilt between two shoots, one of ourselves, and the other for our media partner, leading men’s lifestyle magazine, GQ.
We arrived early onto the set to ensure everything was ready for Sam’s arrival to the first location. It was straight to hair and makeup before we grabbed some breakfast, as we all prepped for the day’s shooting. The morning was spent with the GQ team in the nearby Kelsos, then soon after this, Sam was transferred to our location, ready for his latest Barbour shoot!
Our SS17 Shirt Department film focused on Sam’s best friend, his chocolate Labrador, who was following him around the house as he got ready (lead in mouth) hoping he would be taken for a walk… Sam finally gave in and they went for a walk by the river on the grounds of the hall. We shot in 4 different locations around the grounds; 3 around the interior of the house, and outside by the trickling river – which made for the perfect outdoor setting.
Due to the time of the year, we finished rather quickly, as we was losing light. Sam was tremendous throughout the day, ensuring we got all the stills and video footage that was needed. No shoot would be complete without a dog, and we were very lucky to have Tia on set – a beautiful chocolate Labrador who adored Sam, and can be seen in nearly all of our SS17 Shirt Department images. You can read Tia’s #BarbourDogs account of the shoot here.
In case you missed our last Shirt Department blog, we caught up with our Menswear Designer, Andy McMillan to take a closer look at the checks in this season’s SS17 Shirt Department Collection.
Discover our SS17 Barbour Shirt Department.
Barbour released a Merry Christmas video with Sam. I’ve added the video below and screencaps to the gallery. I’ve also added a missing photo session to the gallery. Enjoy!
Outlander Star Sam Heughan Shows You How to Be Rugged as Hell This Holiday Season
Are you one of those city dudes who buys his Christmas tree from a lot? Or are you of a more rugged sort; the type of guy who purloins his trees straight from the source—in a forest, using nothing more than a hatchet, a dog, and some artfully styled heritage wear. Apparently Sam Heughan, star of the hit series Outlander, is the latter.
At least he is when he’s filming a commercial for Barbour’s winter collection, anyway. The ad, which features the Scottish actor in a host of Barbour goodies—including a parka, a flannel shirt, and some very heritage-y fingerless woolen gloves—makes a great case for not only buying clothing from the classic English brand, but also for spending your holidays in a remote, wooded portion of the British Isles.
But if you’re like most of use, the only hiking you’ll be doing this Christmas season will be schlepping from the parking garage to the mall. May as well look good doing it, though. Check out Barbour’s full winter collection at barbour.com.
Outlander‘s second season may have just come to its devastating conclusion, but Outlander fans can still get their dose of dreamy Jamie Fraser, a.k.a. Sam Heughan, gift wrapped under their tree this Christmas — thanks to his latest collaboration with heritage brand Barbour.
Heughan was named the brand’s global ambassador in July, and since then, he’s taken up the tartan mantle to front the brand’s holiday campaign and help design a capsule for early 2017.
The 36-year-old actor, who first collaborated with Barbour when he led the charge as the Grand Marshal in N.Y.C.’s New York Tartan Day parade in February, is no stranger to manly plaid attire and verdant British hillsides, thanks to his Outlander experience. (He’s also no stranger to the dangers of wearing a kilt on wet grass.)
But for this campaign, shot at Oxford, England’s grand Wytham Abbey, he added something even more delicious to the mix: two adorable puppies (yes, seriously — feast your eyes!).
“I worked with a couple of chocolate Labradors, which were a lot of fun. Very excitable,” Heughan tells PeopleStyle. “They’re cute. I think they should actually… be the new face of Barbour.” (We beg to differ!)
He also gave a little insight into what fans can expect from his first clothing collaboration for the brand. “I hope I’m not giving away too much, but Barbour is well-known for their jackets, so you’ll find that there’s a nice selection there,” he says. “They’ve really taken on board the suggestions that I like, and yeah, it’s very quintessentially Barbour — they’re using all of their heritage and their history. They look great, they feel great and hopefully people like them as well.”
Modeling easy-to-wear items is a nice break from the period attire he wears on the show, but he’s not complaining: He’s more than happy to stick with his kilt, especially when compared to his female co-stars’ garments. In particular, that show-stopping swan nipple dress.
“As beautiful as [the swan nipple dress] looks, I have no desire to [wear it],” Heughan tells PeopleStyle, laughing. “The women on the show have all of the corsets, the underwear and the underdressing they have to wear. It is really is a lot of material to be worn. So I feel very fortunate to be wearing kilts. They’re very easy to put on — and very easy to take off.”
In the upcoming season, which is based on Diana Gabaldon’s third book of the Outlander series, Voyager, Heughan and the rest of the cast embark on a new journey, which leads them to some new (and exotic!) locales.
“In this season, we span over 20 years — we go to Scotland, Jamaica and England and also end up in North Carolina, so it’s a real adventure,” he says, adding that they filmed a few scenes the crew didn’t even know about. “I was like, ‘Oh my God. What are you doing?’ So there’s going to be some surprises and really dramatic, epic scenes.”
But what’s not surprising? The show’s true star — Jamie’s long, luscious ginger curls, which won’t be going anywhere, anytime soon, says Heughan. (His trim waistline? Well, that may be a different story.)
“[Caitriona and my] hair is very much a part of the show,” he says. “It’s all about big hair. Claire’s hair is very unkempt. And same with Jamie. His hair is very much a part of who he is — the color and the look to him. It’s an honor playing this character for over three years now. It feels like a part of me. It’ll be a sad day when I’ll have to lose it [the hair].” Um, we second that.
There are few things in this world that grown women are willing to camp out for: the arrival of a royal baby, Beyoncé, probably, Hamilton tickets, in its Lin Manuel-Miranda heyday. After last week, add Outlander actor Sam Heughan to the list.
In New York on a quick break from shooting season three of the Starz show that some have called a feminist alternative to Game of Thrones, Heughan announced he was doing an appearance at the uptown Barbour store, and the first 20 in line would have the opportunity to take photos with the actor.
People started lining up the night before the event.
“Can you believe it? They’ve been there since midnight,” Heughan said, clearly bewildered by his own stardom, as we sat down to breakfast. “I was terrified that no one would turn up, and that I would have to fly my family out to pretend that they want to come and see me. It’s magnificent.”
In person Heughan’s Scottish accent is much softer than that of his character, Jaime Fraser, and, of course, he’s sporting a Barbour plaid button-down instead of the show’s 18th-century period garb.
Heughan was recently named Barbour’s global brand ambassador, and we were there to talk shop about the partnership he calls “a perfect fit.” After all, he grew up in the same part of Scotland as the company’s founder John Barbour, an area called Dumfries and Galloway in the southwestern part of the country.
“Barbour is a brand that I have grown up with and been associated with since I was living near the borders of Scotland,” he said. “I was brought up in a very rural area on grounds of a castle. It was a working farm, and I even remember the local shepherd wearing his Barbour jacket.”
So what does being a global brand ambassador entail, exactly? Doing promotional events like the one at the store and appearing advertisements—like these ones for Barbour’s shirt department which debuted earlier this summer—are a given. But what’s most intriguing to Heughan about the role role is the opportunity to design a collection for the brand.
“I’ve been working with their whole design team and Gary Janes, who is just this fascinating designer. And we’ve had many discussions and meetings about the line, and what we want it to represent, and how we can marry some of my ideas with their great heritage. We talked about everything that I love and then they made the prototypes.”
And while he’s never done anything related to fashion design before, Heughan wants to make sure he gets this right, visiting the brand workshops and the company’s archives to look at old catalogs, and jackets from the early 1900s, which helped to inspire the line.
“It’s completely new. Growing up as an actor, [fashion] isn’t something you ever think is going to be part of your job description, but it’s been great fun. This family at Barbour they’ve made me feel very welcome. And it’s been great to go down and see their workshops and see the people that work, and the community that they’ve got,” he said.
The collection is slated to launch with a collection of pieces for men and women for Fall 2017, but for now the vintage-inspired prototypes are being kept tightly under wraps.
No stranger to spoilers, Heughan was also tight-lipped when asked about Outlander season three, which will follow Diana Gabaldon’s Voyager novel. In fact, a siren roared the second I asked my question—even the city wanted the show’s secrets kept safe.
“I’m extremely excited about it. I feel already it’s a very strong season, and I think people are really going to enjoy it,” he said.
As for what’s next? Something tells me there could be a Barbour kilt in Heughan’s future.
“Actually, we’ll see. It might be in the pipeline,” he said of the prospect. “I love wearing them, and I think it would be really interesting to see a Barbour kilt, with all the different elements of what Barbour could bring with its wax or herringbone, and all these different materials and all these different fabrics. We may have talked about it. Who knows?”
Outlander fans can only hope.