The brand is founded by 21-year old Thomas Burberry.
Thomas invents gabardine, a lightweight, breathable, weatherproof and tearproof cloth. Its genius comes from the small pockets of air which allow for ventilation.
Burberry patents gabardine. Polished and practical, the beautiful weatherproof cotton remains at the heart of Burberry.
Burberry moves into the first London store at 30 Haymarket.
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.
Explorer Major F.G. Jackson, famed for mapping parts of the Arctic Circle, wears Burberry gabardine when undertaking an expedition to Franz Josef Land.
The Equestrian Knight logo appears for the first time accompanied by the Latin word 'Prorsum' meaning 'forwards'.
Sir Ernest Shackleton wears Burberry gabardine for his expedition to the South Pole.
Burberry opens the first Paris store at 8 Boulevard Malesherbes.
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.
Norwegian Explorer Roald Amundsen and his team becomes the first people to reach the South Pole with a Burberry gabardine tent and clothing.
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.
Burberry moves to a larger London premises in Haymarket, designed by the Architect Walter Cave.
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.
Burberry donates a soup kitchen to the British Red Cross appeal.
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.
Burberry becomes a publicly quoted company for the first time.
By 1920, Burberry has 1750 wholesale agents across the world.
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.
Burberry offers same day delivery for London-based customers.
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.
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.
HM Queen Elizabeth II grants Burberry a Royal Warrant as a Weatherproofer.
Burberry is acquired by UK retailing group Great Universal Stores (GUS).