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History

Creativity has fuelled Burberry throughout our brand’s 165-year history and our shared conviction in its power is central to how we operate as a company

DISCOVER OUR HERITAGE

1856

The brand is founded by 21-year old Thomas Burberry.

1879

Thomas invents gabardine, a lightweight, breathable, weatherproof and tearproof cloth. Its genius comes from the small pockets of air which allow for ventilation.

1888

Burberry patents gabardine. Polished and practical, the beautiful weatherproof cotton remains at the heart of Burberry.

1981

Burberry moves into the first London store at 30 Haymarket.

1893

Norwegian polar explorer, zoologist and later recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize Dr Fritjof Nansen becomes the first recorded polar explorer to take Burberry gabardine to the poles when he sets sail for the Arctic Circle in 1893.

1897

Explorer Major F.G. Jackson, famed for mapping parts of the Arctic Circle, wears Burberry gabardine when undertaking an expedition to Franz Josef Land.

1856

The brand is founded by 21-year old Thomas Burberry.

1909

Burberry opens the  first Paris store at 8 Boulevard Malesherbes.

1910

Celebrated aviator Claude Grahame-White wears Burberry gabardine when he becomes the first person to fly between London and Manchester in less than 24 hours.

1911

Norwegian Explorer Roald Amundsen and his team becomes the first people to reach the South Pole with a Burberry gabardine tent and clothing.

1912

British Explorer Captain Robert Falcon Scott reaches the South Pole, wearing Burberry clothing and equipped with a Burberry tent. Tragically, he and his team tragically lost their lives on the return journey.

Invented by Thomas Burberry, the Tielocken coat is patented. The predecessor to the trench coat, it proves popular among officers during WWI. The coat closes with a strap and buckle fastening and features a single button at the collar.

1913

Burberry moves to a larger London premises in Haymarket, designed by the Architect Walter Cave.

1914

Thomas Burberry funds and furnishes an interdenominational hall in Maidenhead that welcomes people of all faiths.

1914 - 1918

During the First World War, Burberry provides apparel and equipment to the Armed Forces. Designed for the military, each detail of the Burberry trench coat serves a purpose: the epaulettes displayed insignia but could also display items such as gloves; the gun flap gave additional protection, the D-rings were used to attach military equipment; the storm shield allowed rain to run off more efficiently. These features of a Burberry trench remain today.

1915

Burberry donates a soup kitchen to the British Red Cross appeal.

1919

HM King George V grants Burberry its first Royal Warrant as a Tailor.
Captain John Alcock and Lieutenant Arthur Whitten Brown wear Burberry aviator suits to pilot their plane in an exposed cockpit and complete the first non-stop transatlantic flight in 72 hours. Photo courtesy of Vickers.

1920'S

The Burberry check, now registered as a trademark, is introduced as a lining to the trench coat, marking the beginning of the unmistakable Burberry signature we know today.

1934

Burberry offers same day delivery for London-based customers.

1937

During the First World War, Burberry provides apparel and equipment to the Armed Forces. Designed for the military, each detail of the Burberry trench coat serves a purpose: the epaulettes displayed insignia but could also display items such as gloves; the gun flap gave additional protection, the D-rings were used to attach military equipment; the storm shield allowed rain to run off more efficiently. These features of a Burberry trench remain today.

1940'S

During the Second World War, Burberry supplies the British Army with a range of military apparel and accessories, including the trench coat. Burberry also caters for various other divisions of the British Armed Forces, including the Royal Air Force, the Royal Navy, the Royal Pioneer Corps, the Officer Cadet Training Unit, and the Auxiliary Territorial Service - including the women’s division.

Despite the austere conditions imposed by war, Burberry continues to make civilian clothing during the 1940’s including weatherproofs, overcoats and suits for both men and women. Burberry adapts the product category to wartime to include women’s siren suits, which were designed to be worn in an air-raid.

1879

1879

Thomas Burberry invents gabardine, a revolutionary fabric which heralded a new dawn for outerwear

1912

Thomas Burberry patents the Tielocken coat, considered the forerunner to the Burberry trench coat

1914-1918

Designed to meet the needs of military personnel, the Burberry trench coat is born

c.1960

The trench coat’s military origin is celebrated and it becomes fashionable

1940

During the Second World War, Burberry supplies the British Army with a range of military apparel and accessories, including the trench coat. Burberry also caters for various other divisions of the British Armed Forces, including the Royal Air Force, the Royal Navy, the Royal Pioneer Corps, the Officer Cadet Training Unit, and the Auxiliary Territorial Service - including the women’s division.

 

1964

Burberry are the official outerwear suppliers of the British Olympic women’s team for the Tokyo Olympic Games

1965

Burberry exports one in five coats from Britain

2009

Burberry launches Art of the Trench, a website showcasing people around the world wearing their Burberry trench coats, providing a platform for the Burberry community to come together and connect with each other, one year prior to the rise of global social media platforms

2001-TILL TODAY

Each season the Burberry trench is reworked for the runway

C.1970

The Burberry Classic Check Cashmere scarf is born 

c.1980

The Burberry Check Scarf is reworked in a variety of colourways

2015

Launch of Scarf Bar in store and online for customers to design and customize their cashmere scarf, including monogramming

2018

In partnership with Oxfam and PUR Projet, The Burberry Foundation implements a long-term programme focused on developing a more inclusive and sustainable cashmere industry and supporting the social and economic empowerment of rural communities in Afghanistan

Afghanistan, Balkh, Charkant District, April 6, 2019 
Goats and sheep graze in the hills of Charkant District in Afghanistan's Balkh Province. 

Photo by Joel van Houdt for Burberry, Oxfam, Pur Projet and third party publications related to the cashmere project. 

Subject signed Oxfam consent form: n/a

Copyright: Joel van Houdt

c.1920

The check is first introduced as a lining for our raincoats

c.1960

Customers begin asking specifically for the Burberry check - the evolution of our signature house code begins

1967

The check accessory is born in a ‘flash of inspiration’ when Jacquline Dillemman, a buyer in the Burberry Paris store, used the check to wrap luggage and create an umbrella cover.

2018

The Rainbow Check is launched in support of LGBTQIA+ communities

2020

Riccardo Tisci reimagines our iconic house code with the Birch Brown Check as the latest iteration

2022

To mark the opening of our flagship store on Rue Saint-Honore, Paris, we stage a citywide takeover of the new birch brown Check, with projections on a series of Paris landmarks and check-adorned London taxis

c.1901

The EKD is crowd-sourced from public competition to create a new logo for the brand.  The banner reads ‘Prorsum’ which translates from Latin to ‘Forward’ signalling the Company’s direction of travel.

1909

We trademark the EKD

2018

The EKD was widely used in our AW18 See Now Buy Now collection

 

2019

The EKD features in Riccardo Tisci’s first Burberry runway show, SS19

2022

The EKD is reimagined in crystal iterations at our AW22 show. For this show, the EKD is revisited in an oak leaf crest which was widely used throughout the 1990s.

 

 

 

2022

The Supreme®/Burberry® collection features the Equestrian Knight Design,  bringing a touch of heritage to statement outerwear, leather tracksuits and co-ords.