In Depth

Outlander star Sam Heughan talks Hollywood and Barbour


Outlander star Sam Heughan recently starred in comedy action flick The Spy who Dumped Me alongside Mila Kunis – a thoroughly English role for the actor who we have all come to know and love for his rich red locks and mellifluous Scottish lilt.

Heughan (who is naturally blonde!) is more than a rising Hollywood star; in July 2016 he was appointed Barbour's Global Brand Ambassador and is about to release his third capsule collections with the label – each one inspired by his Scottish roots.

The actor's latest AW18 collection captures a modern casual style inspired by the colours and climate of the Scottish countryside: robust, elegant and tailored for a more pragmatic and refined silhouette.

But don't just take our word for it. We spoke to Sam about his role at the British fashion house, touching on more leftfield subjects along the way including his love of kilts and his favourite F1 driver.

Barbour has been part of your world for a long time...

Yes, I have always had a strong love of the brand and coincidentally, I was born and raised close to where founder John Barbour grew up in the south of Scotland.  

What do you do in your role as Global Brand Ambassador?

I am lucky to have collaborated with Barbour and recently launched my own Barbour Sam Heughan Signature Collection which I’m very proud of. As Barbour’s Global Brand Ambassador, my role also includes appearing in photoshoots for two of their collections, Shirt Department and Tartan and also making personal appearances in their retail stores or in conjunction with a partner such as Macy’s in New York. It’s been great fun working with the Barbour design team and the collection reflects my personal off duty style, my Scottish roots and my love for the great British outdoors.  

Did you wear Barbour designs before you worked with them?

Being Scottish, I grew up with the brand and we always had Barbour jackets at home. My Barbour was always my ‘go to’ jacket when it was wet and rainy (which is quite often in Scotland!) as I knew it would never let me down.  

What appeals to you about them?

Barbour has a long history and heritage and their archive goes right back to 1910 through many periods of momentous history that fascinate me. It's so intriguing to see how Barbour has adapted yet retained its strong identity. I love working with the company, Dame Margaret Barbour, her daughter Helen and all their employees – they’re all so passionate about what they do and they have really welcomed me into their extended family.  

Tell us about your Autumn Winter 18 Sam Heughan Signature collection?

I worked closely with the Barbour menswear design team to create a collection that reflects my own personal off duty style. There’s a focus on waxes and quilts that are smart and contemporary in tailored silhouettes with classic tartan trims to reflect my Scottish roots. Chunky cord collars and shoulder detailing feature in olive and rustic jackets inspired by the colours and hues of the beautiful Scottish countryside. Knitwear and shirts provide an understated casual look to take you through the season whether you’re in Edinburgh or the glens.  

Can you tell me about your style growing up? Any fashion faux pas? 

Haha! Well I am Scottish so there have been a few kilts (and I wear one in the show Outlander) but I wouldn’t call it a faux pas, just breezy!  

I’ve read you’re a keen hill walker and of course you are an accomplished all-round sportsman. What has been your biggest challenge to date? 

I just completed two marathons in a month and beat my PB for both. It was fun to set a challenge. I like to work towards a goal, right now I’m prepping for a comic book movie and so it involves a lot of lifting weights and eating.

Has your style changed since achieving fame? What is the best style advice you have received and from whom?

I’m lucky to have been invited to a few award shows in Los Angeles, including the Golden Globes. For these events it’s all about the tailoring and making sure everything is perfect. I enjoy wearing a nice tuxedo or suit and lucky to have a terrific stylist.   

Do you ever get nervous in auditions? or indeed on set? How do you fight the nerves if so? 

I do. Especially for auditions. But it’s all part of the process and nerves can help in some situations. Though I find my best work is when I’m really relaxed and concentrated. 

When was the last time you were starstruck? 

I’m such a sports fan. If I meet a famous sportsperson I will probably ask for a photo and totally fanboy. I met Lewis Hamilton at the airport and shamefully asked for a selfie.  

What is the biggest misconception about you?

That I’m a redhead. I wear a wig in the show and I think people are confused when they meet me.  


What do you generally keep in your pockets of your Barbour jacket?

If I’m climbing a Munro, some snacks and a Barbour hip flask to celebrate when I reach the top of the mountain.  

Can you name 5 places in Scotland (or indeed Edinburgh) that everyone should visit?

Skye: magical.

Edinburgh: Arthur’s Seat which has great views of Edinburgh.

Glen Coe: intimidating and beautiful.  

Islay: Whisky nirvana.

Shetland: if you can get that far!  

How is your history knowledge these days given that Outlander is all about time travel?

We are currently shooting Season 4 in Scotland which is set in America, in its infancy. It’s a melting pot of cultures and interesting to see that all these Scottish people settled there. It really wasn’t that long ago. The similarities with the Native Americans and Scottish clan culture are interesting and it’s been fun to have 100 Mohawk populating the highlands of Scotland. The locals don’t know what to think!

If you could time travel in your own life - just for a day and back - which age would you go back to and what would you do?

I enjoyed drama school. It was exciting and experimental. Student life is tough but I made some of my best friends there.


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