The starting point of the story is Basingstoke, the city located in the southwest of London. In 1856, 21-year-old Thomas Burberry, a former tailor apprentice, starts a brand whose mission is to protect people from the vagaries of British weather.
The same year, in 1856, was opened the first T. Burberry and Sons boutique. A decade later, the outerwear represented there began popular not only with locals but with foreigners as well. In 1879, Thomas invented gabardine, a lightweight water-proof fabric.
In 1981 another boutique was opened in London, its main customers started to be officers, athletes and scholars. For instance, Nobel laureate Fridtjof Nansen used the brand’s equipment for an expedition to the North Pole. In the 1900s Burberry’s coats started to be appearing on Paris streets.
During the First World War the brand created almost half a million raincoats for the British army, which benefited greatly the further popularity among the civilian population as well. In 1955 Elizabeth II granted the brand the warrant for the supply of waterproof clothing. The Queen can be called the brand's genuine muse since it is she who reflects its DNA like no other: her unmistakable authentic English style, as well as a proactive way of life.
There are other fancy ladies, whose names are regarded as being related to the brand. So, Audrey Hepburn, or rather her character Holly from "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and Genevieve performed by Catherine Deneuve from "Umbrellas of Cherbourg" will forever bring their celebrated trench coat into the fashion history. The most up-to-date muses of Burberry (in 1999 the logotype lost the last letter), which creative director became Riccardo Tisсi in 2018, are Natalya Vodianova and Irina Shayk – they are the regular models to be seen in advertising campaigns and on the runway. Burberry history might remember such celebrated names as: Emma Watson, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Cara Delevingne, Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss.
Along with the above-mentioned trench coat, their celebrated check pattern went down in fashion history. The first time this celebrated check pattern appeared in 1920 on a coat lining, and then, as we know, it decors the entire brand range from cosmetic bags, key chains to shirts and down parkas.
For the entire industry, this fashion house has become a great example of a business perspective. The British understood how important it is to catch up with the time and not to be afraid of changes back in 2006 - then Angela Arends became the CEO of the company and contributed into a number of substantial changes.
- Changes in product mix
- Development of new markets: China, India, UAE and USA
- Great emphasis on social networks which tend to neglected by the "luxury" brands
So, for seven years and a half, sales grew almost three times more as well as the capitalization which increased by 300%.