Burberry, the iconic and largest British luxury brand, has long been both high-quality craftsmanship and timeless style. From its humble beginnings to its status as a global fashion powerhouse, Burberry’s journey is a staple to innovation, tradition, and unwavering commitment to excellence.

The History Behind the Brand

Burberry - The Evolution of the Classic British Brand


Founded in 1856 by Thomas Burberry, a 21-year-old draper’s apprentice, the brand’s mission was clear: to create superior outdoor attire. Burberry’s groundbreaking invention of gabardine in 1880 revolutionized rainwear, offering a breathable, weatherproof, and tear-resistant fabric that set the standard for high-quality outerwear.

The opening of Burberry’s first London store in 1891 marked the beginning of its mark in the fashion world. The introduction of the iconic Equestrian Knight logo in 1901, symbolizing the brand’s forward-thinking beliefs, further cemented its reputation.

The trench coat, introduced during World War I in 1912, remains one of Burberry’s most iconic designs. Originally crafted for military officers, quickly became a fashion staple, renowned for its practicality and style. The 1920s saw the creation of the distinctive Burberry check, a pattern that has since become known with the brand.

From Battlefield to Runway

Post-war, the trench coat’s practical elegance caught the eye of civilians. By the 1920s, it had become a fashionable choice for both men and women, seamlessly transitioning from military attire to everyday outerwear. Its association with glamour was cemented by its appearances in classic Hollywood films, worn by icons such as Humphrey Bogart in “Casablanca” and Audrey Hepburn in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”

Receiving a Royal Warrant from Queen Elizabeth II in 1955, Burberry solidified its status as a supplier of fine British craftsmanship. The late 20th century brought a revitalization under the creative direction of Christopher Bailey, who joined the brand in 1999. Bailey’s vision modernized Burberry, seamlessly blending its rich heritage with contemporary trends.

In 2018, Riccardo Tisci took the reins as Chief Creative Officer, influencing the brand with his unique flair and edgy designs, pushing Burberry into new fashion territories while respecting its storied past.

Cultural Impact and Modern Relevance

Burberry - The Evolution of the Classic British Brand


The trench coat’s timeless appeal lies in its versatility. It can be styled for formal or casual occasions, making it a wardrobe essential. Its cultural impact is undeniable, symbolizing elegance, resilience, and timeless style.

Throughout its evolution, the Burberry trench coat has remained a quintessential piece of fashion, beloved by celebrities, fashion enthusiasts, and everyday wearers alike. As it continues to adapt to contemporary trends while maintaining its classic design, the Burberry trench coat stands as a testament to the brand’s enduring legacy of quality and innovation.

Not only is the brand known for its trench coats but also for its scarves, which serve as a timeless wardrobe staple. The Burberry scarves, particularly those featuring the classic check pattern, are a symbol of sophistication and British elegance. Made from luxurious materials like cashmere and silk, these scarves offer both warmth and style. The classic Burberry check, originally introduced in the 1920s, remains a favourite among fashion enthusiasts, adding a touch of heritage and history to any outfit.

Uncompromising Quality

Burberry’s commitment to quality is evident in every product. The use of premium materials, such as their signature gabardine, fine leather, and luxurious wool, ensures durability and elegance, allowing for a long-lasting wardrobe. Attention to detail in design and construction, from precise stitching to robust hardware, underscores the brand’s dedication to excellence.

Balancing innovation with tradition, Burberry incorporates modern technology into classic designs, maintaining its heritage while meeting contemporary demands. The brand includes lower-impact materials such as organic cotton, creates long-lasting products, and repurposes some of its textile offcuts to minimize waste. This approach reflects the brand’s sustainability efforts, focusing on eco-friendly materials and practices to reduce environmental impact.

Burberry, utility and fashion combined.

Getty Images/Alo Ceballos

Perception and Prestige

Burberry’s reputation for quality is reinforced by rigorous quality control measures, ensuring that each product meets the brand’s high standards. Customers worldwide recognize Burberry as a symbol of luxury and superior craftsmanship, a perception built over nearly two centuries of consistent excellence.

Looking Forward…

As Burberry continues to evolve, it remains an icon for British luxury fashion. With a rich history and a forward-looking approach, the brand is poised to maintain its status

as an industry leader, blending tradition with innovation to create timeless, high-quality fashion for generations to come.

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