Label profile: Burberry
Article in images

Burberry beginnings


© Burberry
© Burberry
It was in 1856 that Thomas Burberry, a draper’s apprentice opened a small shop in Basingstoke, Hampshire and immediately, his work became known for its innovation in fabric and outerwear design.

In 1880 Burberry introduced ‘gabardine’, a breathable, weatherproof and tearproof fabric which lead to the design of the ‘Tielocken’, the predecessor to the trench coat which was worn by officers during the Boer War.

Paying homage to this pioneering spirit that lead to original fabric design, the company added the Latin word ‘Prorsum’, meaning ‘forwards’ to their Equestrian Knight trademark in 1901.

We may think we can’t live without the latest delicate gown by Christopher Bailey, but there was a time when Burberry aficionados would rely on their garments for practicality and protection.

Much like fellow British fashion heavyweight, Aquascutum, Burberry equipped explorers and in 1911 Norwegian Roald Amundsen became the first man to reach the South Pole, whilst decked out in Burberry.

And in 1914, continuing it’s connection to the military, the brand was commissioned by the War Office to adapt the ‘Tielocken’ for new combat requirements. Epaulets and D-Rings were added and, almost a hundred years ago, the trench as we know it now was born.

It was only six years later in 1920 that the infamous Burberry check was added to the linings of Burberry’s coats, a stylish detail to a very practical garment.


Selene Pearson
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Article Plan Label profile: Burberry
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