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    Our History

    Our History

    DISCOVER THE STORY OF BURBERRY

    1856

    Thomas Burberry establishes Burberry in Basingstoke at just 21 years old, founded on the principle that clothing should be designed to protect people from the British weather.

    1879

    Gabardine Asset
    Thomas Burberry invents gabardine – the breathable, weatherproof and hardwearing fabric revolutionising rainwear – which up until then had typically been heavy and uncomfortable to wear. Gabardine was then patented in 1888.

    1893

    Norwegian polar explorer, zoologist and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, Dr Fridtjof Nansen is the first recorded polar explorer to take Burberry gabardine to the poles when he sets sail bound for the Arctic Circle.

    CIRCA 1901

    The company runs a public competition to design a new logo for the brand. The winning entry is inspired by 13th and 14th-century armour on display at The Wallace Collection in London – and the Equestrian Knight Device is born.

    The company runs a public competition to design a new logo for the brand. The winning entry is inspired by 13th and 14th-century armour on display at the Wallace collection in London – and the equestrian knight device is born.

    1908

    Air Commodore Edward Maitland wears Burberry gabardine to travel from Crystal Palace to Russia in a hot air balloon. Covering a distance of 1,117 miles in 31 ½ hours, he sets the world’s long-distance overseas record and the British long-distance in-flight record.

    1912

    The Tielocken coat, designed by Thomas Burberry, is patented. Considered the predecessor to the trench coat, the Tielocken closes with a single strap and buckle fastening and only features a button at the collar.

    1913

    Having had a presence in London since 1891, Burberry moves to a larger London premises in Haymarket, designed by the noted architect Walter Cave.

    1914-1917

    BRITISH EXPLORER SIR ERNEST SHACKLETON

    Acclaimed British Explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton wears Burberry gabardine for three expeditions in the early 20th century, including the Endurance expedition.

    1914-1918

    The Burberry trench coat is invented during the First World War. The functional design includes epaulettes used to suspend military equipment such as gloves and whistles, D-rings used to carry grenades, the gun flap to provide additional protection when in action and the storm shield to allow water to run off it smoothly.
    1914-18 Burberry Trench

    1920s

    Vintage Check

    The Burberry check, now registered as a trademark, is introduced as a lining to our rainwear.

    1934

    1934 Asset

    Burberry offers a same-day delivery in London in its own dedicated vehicle.

    1937

    Burberry sponsors a record-breaking flight from Croydon to Cape Town in an aeroplane called 'The Burberry’. Both aviators, Flying Officer Arthur Clouston and Betty Kirby-Green, wear Burberry.

    Arthur Clouston and Betty Kirby-Green

    1955

    HM Queen Elizabeth II grants Burberry a Royal Warrant as a Weatherproofer.

    1965

    One in five coats exported from Britain is a Burberry product.

    1972

    Burberry formally acquires the factory in Castleford, the home of the Burberry trench coat, building on our manufacturing presence in the UK – a legacy that continues today.

    1990

    Burberry is granted a Royal Warrant by HRH The Prince of Wales as an Outfitter.

    1999

    Burberry’s becomes Burberry and a new logo is designed by art director Fabien Baron.

    2000

    Burberry opens its first store on Bond Street.

    2001

    Christopher Bailey is appointed Design Director.

    2002

    Burberry becomes a public quoted company floating on the London Stock Exchange.

    2008

    The Burberry Foundation is established as an independent charity for general charitable purposes and grant-making.

    2009

    The Spring/Summer 2010 womenswear show relocates to London from Milan, marking the 25th anniversary of London Fashion Week.

    2010

    2010
    Burberry is the first brand to livestream a fashion show.
    Burberry is the first luxury brand to join the Ethical Trading Initiative.

    2011

    Moving away from a wholesale and licensed business model, retail becomes the primary route of distribution – increasing from 43% in 2005/2006 to 64% in 2010/2011.

    Burberry launches the first ‘Tweetwalk’ – premiering its Spring/Summer 2012 Womenswear collection on Twitter and posting each look live before it goes down the runway.

    2014

    Burberry directly operates over 500 stores around the world.

    2016

    Burberry is recognised as industry leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index in the ‘Textiles, Apparel and Luxury Goods’ sector.

    Sustainability

    BURBERRY IS THE FIRST BRAND TO MAKE RUNWAY COLLECTIONS AVAILABLE TO CONSUMERS FOR PURCHASE IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE SHOW.

    2017

    Burberry and the Royal College of Art (RCA) announce the establishment of the Burberry Material Futures Research Group, with the aim of applying radical thinking to invent new sustainable materials, transform consumer experience and advance manufacturing to benefit the industry and wider community.

    2018

    Rainbow Check

    Burberry celebrates diversity and inclusivity with the Rainbow Vintage check throughout its February collection and makes donations to three leading organisations – the Albert Kennedy Trust, the Trevor Project and ILGA – all dedicated to supporting LGBTQ+ youth around the world.

    BURBERRY JOINS THE ELLEN MACARTHUR FOUNDATION ‘MAKE FASHION CIRCULAR’ INITIATIVE AS A CORE PARTNER, TO HELP DEVELOP SOLUTIONS TO SOME OF THE BIGGEST ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES FACED BY THE FASHION INDUSTRY AND WORK TOWARDS A CIRCULAR ECONOMY.

    Riccardo Tisci appointed as Chief Creative Officer.

    BURBERRY LAUNCHES A NEW BRAND LOGO AND MONOGRAM WITH PETER SAVILLE.