BURBERRY IS ONE OF THE MOST BRILLIANT FASHION HOUSES TO EMERGE IN BRITISH HISTORY. ITS CALIBER FOR LUXURY OUTERWEAR, FRAGRANCES AND ACCESSORIES EXUDE ELEGANCE AND HAS RESULTED IN ITS REIGN AS A SUPREME DESIGNER. THE BRAND IS TRULY AN ICONIC FASHION MOVEMENT THAT COMBINES THE ENGLISH HERITAGE WITH A SENSE OF GRACE. FROM WAR UNIFORM TO THE MOST ESTEEMED OF CATWALKS, THE STORY BEHIND IT ALL IS TRULY REMARKABLE. I GIVE YOU A TASTER OF THE BRAND’S HISTORY AND A FEEL FOR WHAT MAKES THE HOUSE SO HIGHLY REGARDED.
Founded by Thomas Burberry in 1856, the business originally specified in outwear. Producing outwear with his own invention of garbadine (a waterproofed yarn which was breathable), Mr Burberry and his range became increasingly more in demand.
Most people envisage the brand by its unmistakable piece – the trench. This was created when in 1901 the War Office commissioned Burberry to fabricate coats for officers in the First World War. The garbadine innovation was indisputably useful not only in the war, but for explorers too. Captain Scott, Captain Amundsen and Ernest Shackleton swore by Burberry garbadine tents in the 1910s.
Nevertheless Burberry’s ultimate trademark baby is it’s tartan print. Introduced purely as a lining in 1924, many underestimated how powerful this pattern would be in the distant future. The sixties encouraged the print to be featured on accessories, which then lead to its illustrious stamp of recognition today.
The seventies saw the brand go global. New York was primarily the first city to engage with the designer, then the rest of America followed suit. It wasn’t until the early 90s we saw Burberry being showcased on catwalks, which initiated an incredible response.
The millennium was where the history and age of the brand met the ferocious frenzy of the fashion world. Christopher Bailey is now considered the be all and end all to Burberry. He joined in 2001 as a design director and then moved on up to CEO in 2014. Bailey has done wonders for the brand in that not only has he successful transformed to brand into a luxury modern renovation, but he is said to have been the financial saviour of the designer.
Today we see Burberry operating under three brands, each dedicated to serving its audience. Firstly, there’s Burberry Prorsum (meaning fashion ahead); this is the superior brand hosting luxury catwalk collections. Burberry London delivers to its city admirers, epitomising smart and chic tailored pieces, which are ideal for the career-minded. Burberry Brit, deemed by its own Christopher Bailey as ‘a little bit disheveled and distinctively British’, for a more casual side to the brand.
The brand is more beloved than ever – in it’s most recent campaign it stars the likes of Romeo Beckham, Rosie Huntington-Wiley and Elton John. Another thing to add Burberry’s entire cast of models are British, hell, they even discovered Cara Delavinge and Suki Waterhouse. Burberry is a brand we Brits hold dear to our hearts. With its reputation of excellence, there’s no doubt Bailey will do it justice for years to come.