The company’s headquarters can be found in London. The trench coat is arguably Burberry’s most illustrious piece of outerwear. Made from robust gaberdine that can withstand the elements, it will keep you warm and dry on even the worst of days. Both Billie Eilish and Naomi Campbell have been seen in Burberry’s timeless, sophisticated, and dazzling creations. Among the most prestigious and successful in the fashion industry, it is a model of excellence.
Thomas Burberry entered the world on August 27, 1837, in Surrey, England. His dad worked on the farm and in the grocery business. Thomas went to the Brockham Green Village school for his education. After finishing school, he worked as an apprentice at a fabric store. Thomas completed his apprenticeship in 1856 and then founded a modest clothes store in Basingstoke, a town in southern England.
His store is now known as Burberrys. At the tender age of twenty-one, Thomas launched his apparel company. He hoped to supply the populace with garments that would safeguard them against Britain’s erratic climate. His humble outfitter shop became well-known in its field within four years of opening.
The company began experimenting with novel materials around 1870. As a result, it has become well-known all throughout Basingstoke. After that, Thomas Burberry started making gear for the great outdoors. Similarly, he looked into a substance that would work for anglers, hunters, and horseback riders. Thomas Burberry developed Gaberdine in 1880 following years of study and experimentation. It was discovered that gaberdine is a fabric that can withstand being submerged in water while still allowing air to pass through it. The fabric was quite light weight. Gaberdine, despite being lightweight and airy, could shield its wearer from severe weather. In 1888, Thomas had successfully patented Gaberdine.
The first ever Burberry store was established in Haymarket, London, in 1891. This led Thomas to open up Burberry shops in various English cities like Reading, Manchester, Liverpool, and Winchester.
Two years later, Burberry made history again when Polar explorer and Nobel laureate Dr. Fridtof Nansen wore Gaberdine to the Arctic Circle poles. Gaberdine was worn by many more intrepid explorers who ventured into the Arctic and Antarctic.
Around the same time, sales of Burberry goods abroad began to rise. In addition to its Paris and New York locations, it also has a Buenos Aires branch that deals in wholesale.
In the twentieth century, Burberry became a household name. The British War Office approached Burberry in the early twentieth century. Officers in the military used to dress in formal, bulky coats. Burberry was responsible for designing the now-iconic trench coat during World War II. The Gaberdine trench coat was a basic item for soldiers in World War I. This coat became a popular item among noncombatants after the war ended.
The iconic trench coat, which was previously solely fastened at the collar, began to take over the runways due to its singular strap and buckle closure. Trench coats by Burberry have been seen on the likes of Audrey Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart in such iconic films as Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Casablanca. Following Thomas Burberry’s retirement in 1917, the now-iconic Burberry check first appeared in 1920 as a coat lining. Thomas died in 1926, at the age of 90. By that time, his label was widely recognized across Europe.
In the ’70s and ’80s, Burberry became a staple in the wardrobes of many celebrities. Burberry owned one out of every five jackets that left the United Kingdom. It was in 2002 that Burberry became a publicly traded corporation, when it made its debut on the London Stock Exchange. The road to success for Burberry, however, was not always easy. Several B-list celebrities and football fans did a lot of damage to Burberry’s posh reputation in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The so-called “chav” subculture of Great Britain embraced it.
Burberry used to be synonymous with opulence and superior craftsmanship, but the label’s reputation took a turn for the worse in the new millennium. Selfridges and Harvey Nichols, two of Britain’s most prestigious department stores, both ceased selling Burberry as a result. It wasn’t until Christopher Bailey joined the company that things began to shift, though. In the past, Bailey has held the position of senior designer for women’s wear at Gucci. As a result of Bailey’s appointment as Burberry’s creative director, the brand’s reputation began to rise. The brand Burberry was able to recover its image in just nine years. Bailey underwent extensive transformation to shed his chav reputation.
As of 2009, Bailey had reimagined Burberry, and the company had moved its runway presentation from Milan to London. Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, Douglas Booth, Cara Delevingne, and James Corden were just some of the famous faces that appear in Burberry ads. Bailey was promoted to CEO of Burberry in 2014 after leading the company to victory in a number of high-profile campaigns. It’s now one of the oldest and most recognizable names in high-end goods. The company has been a fashion powerhouse for almost a century, amassing more over $5 billion in assets and opening outlets in 59 countries. As of 2022, there are more than 460,000 Burberry customers around the world, and employees at the company hail from 129 different countries.