Burberry History – The Heritage Of The Brand


Burberry is not just a random brand; it is a brand that represents its identity across all platforms. The brand portrays the Britain style in the most iconic way, displaying excellence in all activities. More so, Burberry’s history and stories serve as inspiration to the brands’ values and onions.

Since Burberry’s establishment in 1856, it has followed a specific and productive pattern. The primary aim is to speak about luxury most comfortably.

Burberry history is an interesting one, with a high preference for the fashion industry. Let’s journey into the intriguing facts.

Here is an outline of the information about Burberry history provided below.

  • The Influences, Performance, and Challenges of Burberry Heritage
  • History of First Five Burberry Materials
  • Gabardine
  • Travel Trench
  • The Burberry Check
  • The Equestrian Knight Logo
  • New Burberry Logo
  • Burberry Today

The Influences, Performance, and Challenges of Burberry Heritage

At the age of 21, Thomas Burberry launched the brand at Basingstoke, England. The location for the first shop was in Haymarket in 1891. Burberry was managed as a family-oriented company during its early years, but it was reincorporated in 1955. It all started with thick clothing that was designed to protect the British against harsh weather.

Top influencers like Roald Amundsen started patronizing the brand as personal designers in 1911. The other two influencers, Ernest Shackleton and George Mallory, wore the brand products for military activities in 1914 and 1924.

In the 1970s and the 1980s, the brand advanced from producing significant wears or military coats to complementary wears. However, this did not happen without the collaboration with top retailers. Hence, Burberry’s history reflects its interest in a broad age group, including men, women, ladies, and children. 

Despite the availability of many retailers or redistributing companies, productions were strictly monitored by the headquarter in London. The clothing was delivered worldwide, yielding a large number of profits. However, the gains were insignificant because it ran as the parent company’s account with a licensing agreement. During this period, Lord (Leonard) Wolfson was the chairman, Stanley Peacock the managing director, and Lord Litchfield, the photographer. Victor Barnett became the chairman in 1997 and ran a successful administration until 2001.

An encouraging fact about the Burberry brand is the consistency despite the test of time. The brand is famous for its innovations, craftsmanship, and heritage.

Today, the Burberry brand studio is located in London, with Christopher Bailey as the Chief Executive and Chief Creative Officer.

The brand owner understood the importance of creativity and media. He initiated a movie in 2016 titled “The Tale of Thomas Burberry.” The brand’s stronghold is to always hold its background in high esteem, regardless of seeming challenges.

Challenges of Burberry

It may seem as though Burberry had always figured it out, but it is not the case. History reveals that the sales and profit price rescued drastically in the mid-1990s. It all started when Daniella Westbrook wore the check design overall, which looked unappealing to many audiences. Many customers drew back, as they never wanted to associate themselves with the brand anymore. Also, football fans loved the check design and instead wore it as a uniform.

The trend from the football fans worsened the situation, as Burberry appeared to be less luxurious and classy. The innovative idea was so on the negative side of the rule. UK department stores like Selfridges and Harvey Nicholas stopped stocking the materials, affecting overall brand sales. Angela Ahrendts, also the CEO of Burberry, left the brand to join Apple in 2014. However, these problems became minimal when Christopher Bailey became the creative director. It became clear that fashion and technology could collaborate to form a single entity.

How They Scaled Through

The wisdom behind Burberry’s success after so many disappointments is due to the adaptation of technology. A social media campaign was a force that drove the sales up again. The brand employed top celebrities as ambassadors or for promotion. These celebrities are Kate Moss, James Corden, Eddie Redmayne, Cara Delevingne, and Naomi Campbell. The brand began to participate in London fashion week while running the runway show. This runway show blended the music and e-commerce industry. 

In 2016, the brand created avenues for customers to visualize the clothing items rather than just running a catwalk show. Hence, the catwalk show was reduced from four productions weekly into two. Thus, elites could walk into the exhibition and decide their perfect outfit.

In September 2017, the Burberry brand history got more interesting. Bailey went minimalistic by combining modern styles with classical architecture. He portrayed this through the SS18 collection in London’s Old Sessions House.

History of First Five Burberry Materials

Burberry has developed several materials until the present. Since their viability grew massively, including in South Africa, there was a need to produce several items of clothing that meet a wide variety of conditions. The most popular materials that started in the early years of production and have gained popularity worldwide are:


Thomas Burberry himself invented the gabardine material himself in 1879. The gabardine was not just a new launch like others but rather an innovation. It was the first waterproof material that Britain ever had. In the 1800s, fashion houses started launching waterproof materials, but they were not as intriguing as prototypes. Although waterproof, non-fashionable. Hence, gabardine is the perfect comfortable, fashionable, and waterproof material.

Travel Trench

The travel trench is the basis for the famous trench coat we have today. They were first worn by military men in World War 1, while it changed its name from Tielocken coats to Travel trench, based on this popularity.

The primary function of the design was to serve as a pack for military equipment, such as whistles, grenades, and gloves. It helped them to prepare for any attack or harm. Hence, the material’s popularity grew more because every user wore it for a protective purpose.

It was famous as a travel trench from the flight to Cape Town in 1937, as many Burberry were all dressed in the material. This is another spectacular event in Burberry history!

The Burberry Check

In the 1920s, the production company decided to step up its gabardine game by introducing the checker’s design. In 1921, the structure became a trademark, and it has been booming in the fashion industry since then. By1967, the brand moved from making just clothes into making bags, scarves, and umbrellas with this particular design.

This design captured the heart of the royal family and is accepted in the heritage British house. However, some modifications were called the Nova check, as models represented the design in vogue during the walk show seasons in 2018.

The Equestrian Knight Logo

Like every other design, the honor of the Burberry brand keeps producing new designs with intent or meaning behind them. The key attributes of the equestrian design were protection, integrity, and majesty. The logo was registered in 1909 and had always been a core part of people’s dressing. Although the logo remains the same, the brand slightly changed the design format in 2018. 

The equestrian knight was coined from a Latin word, “Prorsum,” which means to keep moving forward. The intent behind the name caused the CEO to trademark the design.

New Burberry Logo

The new Burberry logo replaces the equestrian, which happened in 2018 by Peter Saville and Riccardo Tisci. Thomas Burberry was the inspiration behind the new design, as it was an interlock of the two initials, TB. Interestingly, this monogram design retained its elegance and royalty function. Although simple, it is one of the best designs in the history of Burberry. More so, the design was done bearing in mind the minimalist approach.

Burberry Today

History is incomplete without stating the achievements of Burberry today and how far it has gone in the fashion industry. One of the notable changes of the brand is reducing the number of check designs drastically. However, this action has yielded ten-fold more profits than before.

Generally, there has been an increase in competitors surrounding the brand. However, one would say Burberry’s history has attracted loyal customers, which is that it depicts royalty. 

As of 2015, Burberry had several stores in 59 countries, making it the 73rd position in the Inter-brand Best Global Brands award.

In 2016 and 2017, the brand experienced a backlash from a sudden shift of political seats, terrorist attacks, and a reduction in global trade. It has become a new narrative since Riccardo Tisci took the offer as the Chief Creative Officer. He started a new approach towards releasing new products every year by collaborating with social media influencers or non-competitive brands. Until now, the brand had been increasing daily based on its collaborations. Currently, the Burberry company is on the London Stock Exchange list under the FTSE 100 constitution. 


Contrary to the restrictions of styles that popped up in Burberry history, the brand now makes cosmetics, leather goods, fragrances, accessories, and eyewear. Although it depicts royalty, it has extended its customer base towards non-royal individuals. It no longer focuses only on outdoor attire but is also of great relevance to the fashion market. Burberry’s reach is now worldwide, as you can place an order from anywhere in the world.

Was This Article Helpful?

Burberry History – The Heritage Of The Brand Burberry history is an exciting one and a must-read for every scholar and history enthusiast. Check this piece for unique and exciting information.
5 1 5 1

You're Never to Cool To Learn New Things

Sources and Further Research

Please note: 440 Industries is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.