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 1881, another boutique was opened in London; its main customers were 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 appear on Parisian 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 women of class, whose names are often brought up when discussing the brand. Audrey Hepburn, or rather her character Holly from ‘Breakfast at Tiffany's’ and Genevieve performed by Catherine Deneuve from ‘Umbrellas of Cherbourg’ have permanently sewn the brand’s signature trench coat into the fabric of fashion history. The newest muses of Burberry (in 1999, the logotype lost its last letter), coming at the time of Riccardo Tisсi as creative director (since 2018), are Natalya Vodianova and Irina Shayk – they are now the brand’s regular models, participating in advertising campaigns and on the runway. Burberry’s history might also remember celebrated names such as Emma Watson, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Cara Delevingne, Naomi Campbell and 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.