History of the Burberry Brand


To begin, the now world famous Burberry brand represents utility, creativity, quality, and timelessness. In fact, none of this was by accident. Rather it is through meticulous planning and an eye towards perfectionism. Here’s how it all began.

1856 – The brand is actually founded by then 21-year old Thomas Burberry.
The Founder “Burberry was founded by Thomas Burberry (27 August 1835 – 4 April 1926) an English gentlemen’s outfitter”.(1)

In addition to being the founder of international chain Burberry which became one of Britain’s largest branded clothing businesses, Burberry happens to also be known as the inventor of gabardine. This invention itself fits seamlessly with the company’s philosophy of fabric and clothing.

The Philosophy “In 1856 Thomas Burberry establishes Burberry in Basingstoke at just 21 years old, founded on the principle that clothing should be designed to protect people from the British weather.”(2) In other words, waterproof. Therefore a special fabric was necessary towards this end.

The Fabric As a result of this need, Thomas invents gabardine(3) in 1879. It is a lightweight, breathable, weatherproof and tear proof cloth. Its genius comes from the small pockets of air which actually allow for ventilation while still being protective.

Then in 1888 Burberry patents gabardine to secure his invention. This fabric to his credit is polished and practical in addition to being a beautiful weatherproof cotton or wool. Its genius comes from the small pockets of air which allow for ventilation. Most notable is that this beautiful weatherproof material remains at the heart of Burberry even today.

Gabardine, a lightweight, breathable, weatherproof and tear proof cloth invented by Thomas Burberry.
The Raincoat Lining Of importance is the fact that the check pattern is first introduced as a raincoat lining circa 1920.
The Check is first introduced as a lining circa 1920 having endured until today.
The Trench Coat This originally was an item of protective clothing that had to be held to the highest standard of extreme functionality as a WWI trench coat.
The Burberry Trench Coat design for WWI 1914-1918

The Original Raincoat The now classic Burberry Raincoat from the original pattern with the check fabric lining becomes in fact part of the Burberry legacy.
trenchcoat pattern alone
Burberry formally acquires the factory in Castleford, the home of the Burberry trench coat, building on our manufacturing presence in the UK- a legacy that continues today

The Scarf, and Name Tag
C.1970 The Burberry Classic Check Cashmere scarf is also born.
To complete these basics, the Burberry Classic Check Cashmere scarf is also born.

“Creativity has fuelled Burberry throughout our brand’s 166-year history and our shared conviction in its power is central to how we operate as a company”. All quotes and photos from History-Burberry and Our History

Burberry Brand label
1.History – Burberry
2.Our History
3.Gabardine – Wikipedia
4.The Trench Coat
5.The Raincoat
6.The Scarf
7.The Check
8.Equestrian Knight Device
9.Thomas Burberry – Wikipedia




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