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Barbour x Universal Works: In conversation with David Keyte

Ian: So David, I think the readers might like to start with a little background on Universal Works

David: We are an independent menswear company, 6 years old but with a wealth of experience in the clothing industry. We look towards a realistic approach to design, mixing tradition with a contemporary aesthetic.

Ian: You hail from Nottingham, like myself, and with Barbour from South Shields in the North East of England. Why do you think there is so much creative output from these regions of England?

David: I think there is creative output in all the regions, but for most or many young designers the only way to get noticed or a job even was to move to London, maybe for some of us to move back to the regions we are from has given us new opportunities to be creative with more freedom. But it’s my firm belief that companies like Barbour prove you can have a successful design led business outside of the south east.

Ian: What drew you to working with Barbour – do you think there are parallels between Barbour and Universal Works?

David: Barbour has such a great history but also are not afraid of moving forward and innovating, I got very inspired by the achievements Barbour have in South Shields.

Ian: Could you tell the readers more why we chose to collaborate on accessories over any other product categories?

David: At Universal Works we have done a few collaborations on accessories, like shoes and bags before, we don't make these items ourselves so we are always happy to work worth partners we think are experts in those fields.

Ian: Which pieces of the Universal Works x Barbour collaboration will you be using yourself?

David: I’ve actually been using the original sample pieces a lot myself, I always like to trial anything new we do, test wearing it if you like. The Barbour Alliance Backpack is maybe my favourite piece, as I carry a bunch of stuff around and travel a lot in the UK and further afield.