Burberry is an iconic British luxury fashion house that has been in business since 1856. With over 160 years under its belt, there’s plenty of history to dive into. If you’re considering investing in a Burberry piece, reading about the history of the company first will only make your investment more meaningful. Here’s how Burberry came to be and maintains its name today.
Burberry has a long and storied history.
Founded in 1856 by Thomas Burberry, the company began as an outdoor clothing store specializing in durable coats and garments suitable for harsh weather conditions. Since its inception, Burberry has come to be known for its signature tartan pattern (known as “the Nova Check”), which was first used on the lining of coats made by the company in 1924.
In 1901, Burberry introduced their famous gabardine fabric – a lightweight but hardwearing material that allowed rainwater to bead off it instead of soaking into it like other fabrics did at the time – making it perfect for outerwear use in damp climates. This innovation quickly made them one of Britain’s leading suppliers of high-quality menswear during this period and established them as a household name among those who appreciated quality craftsmanship and style.
The 1970s saw continued success from Burberry with their iconic “Tenant” design becoming popular with celebrities such as Diana Ross wearing pieces from the line. However, they were also experiencing financial troubles due to changes within management at this time, causing them to close several stores throughout Europe by 1976. In response, they launched their Prorsum collection featuring more modern designs that found success both domestically and internationally.
Then, in 2009, Christopher Bailey became creative director and there was a change in strategy. The company decided to steer the focus back toward luxury customers rather than the general public, helping further establish themselves again globally while still maintaining traditions set forth since day one under Thomas Burberry.
Today, Burberry continues to produce stylish yet timeless garments utilizing traditional manufacturing processes combined with modern technology: offering everything from trench coats inspired by classic military styles all the way up to designer sneakers.