Burberry’s clothes were, at first, designed in order to protect people from the cold weather in England. How did the brand become a famous fashion house and intended for high-end customers, only? Discover below, the story and the incredible journey of the British luxury fashion brand.

Birth of the brand

In 1856, a British designer named Thomas Burberry, then aged 21 years old, founded his brand, in London.

Legend has it that the athletic young man suffered from rheumatism and his doctor advised him not to wear his rubber raincoat. This is how the idea was born and this is what made Thomas Burberry rethink and specialize in the outwear style!


Burberry’s logo

In 1901, the company designed a new logo for the brand with public help. The selected logo was inspired by 13th and 14th century armour and by equestrian knights.


Key pieces of Burberry

One of the most known designs of Thomas Burberry would be the Gabardine that he created in 1879. The first weatherproof rainwear jacket made of a hard wearing fabric in order to protect people from bad weather effects.  The trench coat is now lighter, so much more comfortable and constitutes an essential part of the men and women's wardrobe.

In 1893, the polar explorer Dr Fridtjof Nansen wore the Gabardine when he ventured into the arctic. In 1908, the air commodore Edward Maitland travelled from Crystal Palace to Russia in a hot air balloon wearing the Burberry Gabardine, also.

Besides, Burberry invented the, now very trendy, trench coat for British officers during World War I, actually. It was called the “Tielocken”, then. Later in 1970, the famous cashmere check scarf was introduced.


Burberry after Thomas


In 1917, Thomas Burberry retired from the luxury fashion house that he built. In 1920, the company became a publicly quoted company on the London Stock Exchange as Burberrys Limited. Arthur and Thomas Jr, who are Burberry founder’s sons, joined the renewed company as the managing directors. 

Burberry during the noughties (2000’s)

In 1999, Burberrys became "Burberry". Bond Street, London noticed the very first opening of Burberry’s store reflecting the iconic and global high-end style of the brand. Then in the 20s, Burberry's iconic "Check" was created and has been in use since then.


Why is Burberry intended for a high-end customer’s base

Indeed, not every fashion fan can afford Burberry clothes. For the reason that Burberry is an old brand that created its brand name for itself, and established its own notoriety. Moreover, many famous people wore Burberry’s clothes over decades not only for the brand’s image but also for the high quality of its goods. Hence, in order to possess something of quality, you have to pay the price.


Famous successors of Thomas Burberry

After that T. Burberry was gone, his sons took the reins of the family business and placed the brand as an official supplier of the royals and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom.

In the 1990, Burberry witnessed a slight decline because of the lack of innovation. Then, many fashion designers took the helm and preserved the heritage of the late Thomas.

In May 2001, the British stylist Christopher Bailey became the creative director and bravely accomplished the mission of making the brand reborn from its own ashes.

Finally, since 2019 the Italian fashion designer Riccardo Tisci is the Chief Creative Officer at Burberry. After being at the head of another leading brand, Tisci promised to freshen up Burberry fashion house, and he kept his promise!

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