About Burberry

Category: Fashion -
Established: 1856

Burberry is originally a British tailor, specialist in the making of coats and raincoats for men ( Men's outfitter, according to English terminology ) which manufactures luxury clothing for a rich and demanding clientele. With his immutable models, he established himself as the representative of the sober, refined and very good male elegance of the wealthy British classes: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles both granted him Royal Recognition in 1955 and in 1989.

Become Burberry, the company is since 2002 a listed company, producing in China and developing worldwide a network of franchise stores seeking to reach a large audience. Burberry has become one of the general luxury brands, its catalog has been extended to women, children, accessories, bags and luggage, it has launched a line of perfumes. The Scottish pattern of its liners has become one of the most widely imitated and counterfeit models.


Beginnings (1856-1915) ​

It all begins with a winter day in 1856, when Thomas Burberry, an apprentice draper, consults his doctor for a problem of early rheumatism. The practitioner strongly recommends that he no longer wear his rubber raincoat, which protects from the rain but does not allow perspiration to escape. Thomas Burberry opens a few weeks later his first store on Winchester Street in Basingstoke, 80 km from London. Barely 21 years old, the young designer then dressed the notables of his region. He was later assisted by Thomas Newman and Arthur Michael, his sons, who then became collaborators of the company, in the 1880s. She specialized in sports and outdoor clothing.

In a few years, he won the loyalty of his customers, his shop grew and in 1870 became a department store, or, as British terminology calls it, an "  Emporium  ", employing more than 80 people. Specializing in warm clothing and more particularly in raincoats, Thomas Burberry created in 1880 the gabardine, a fabric protecting from the cold, resistant to rain and very good use, made waterproof before weaving. The young designer would have created this fabric during a meeting with a shepherd from his region, whose jacket had the amazing feature of resisting the rain. Man attributed this to the products used during the sheep bath, which have the property of protecting the wool of animals from bad weather. Convinced of the potential of this discovery, and strength of the desire to innovate, he patented gabardine in 1888. For the occasion, it is developing five different thicknesses for its fabric: Airylight (“Léger Comme l'Air”), Double-Weave (“Double Tissage”), Karoo, Wait-a-Bit("Wait a while") and Tropical. These fabrics are resistant to rain and cold. This could have saved Captain Robert Falcon Scott, who had sheltered from snowstorms with a Burberry gabardine tent during his expeditions to Antarctica 7 .

The “Equestrian Knight” logo

Selling now under the name Thomas Burberry & Sons, the provincial creator opens in 1891 its first store in London at 30 Haymarket, then his company capitalized at more than 2 million pounds. Twinned with a large workshop, the large London boutique still exists today and contains the company's headquarters. Ten years later, the company was commissioned by the Ministry of Defense, the War Office, to design new uniforms for British officers, waterproof and resistant. The same year, the rider's logo, the Equestrian Knight, appears for the first time, accompanied by the Latin adverb Prorsum, which means "forward". The armor symbolizes protection, the safety of clothing, the rider reflects the standards of integrity of the firm, and finally, the Latin motto represents Burberry's desire for innovation. It became a registered trademark in 1904 and has accompanied all the brand's clothing ever since. On April 17, 1905, the Basingstoke store was reduced to ashes by the Great Basingstoke Fire, causing more than £ 30,000 in damage. It was only four years later that the brand's first international store opened on Boulevard Malesherbes in Paris. In 1915, the first boat loaded with raincoats left for Japan. At the turn of the century, Burberry appeared as a veritable institution, in the United Kingdom and abroad, while continuing its quest for innovation.


Net sales (excluding licensed sales) by-product family break down in 2018 between accessories (38.7%), women's clothing (29.9%), men's clothing (24%), children's clothing (4.3 %) and others (3.1%).


Burberry divides its offer into three separate collections. Each responds to a different positioning and need, and is aimed at a well-defined audience.

Burberry Prorsum 

Burberry Prorsum is the high-end collection from Burberry. It contains the creations presented during the London Fashion Week parades. Each piece is produced in very small quantities and offered at very high prices. The major target of this type of product is limited since it is made up almost exclusively of personalities from the world of cinema, fashion or sport. Its visibility and its importance for the group are not reduced, however: seen on stars and therefore widely disseminated in the media, it places itself as the standard-bearer of the brand at the level of the general public.

Burberry Brit 

Burberry Brit certainly represents the main margins of the company in terms of collections, as its target is wide and varied. It is indeed the mainstream collection of the house, which combines both trendy products and other more classic, at much more affordable prices. Originally developed for the Spanish and Japanese markets, the line now applies to Europe as a whole. Two main collections are produced each year, Autumn / Winter and Spring / Summer, mostly in Asia.

Burberry London 

Burberry London is the Burberry fashion line. It is for men and women who want to be dressed elegantly for the week. it is a very "city" collection. It offers collections that are more fashion-oriented than Burberry Brit. We can now find certain elements of the collection in the United Kingdom, Japan, Portugal, Italy, Canada or France.


The brand markets perfumes, like My Burberry, an Eau de parfum for women which draws its inspiration from the design of the iconic trench while evoking a London garden after the rain. Among the masculine essences, Mr. Burberry fits into a register that is both classic and contemporary, echoing the black trench coat and the London atmosphere. Burberry's Perfume and Beauty division are alongside the Accessories, Women's and Men's Ready-to-Wear departments, not to mention the Children's collection. The Perfumes branch is now under the control of the Coty group, following the breach of the license agreement with Interparfums.


Burberry structures its activities in five geographic areas: England, the rest of Europe, North America, Asia-Pacific and the rest of the world (emerging markets). Although often present in the form of official stores, the main margins of the group come from its numerous concessions in clothing stores around the world.

It is difficult to know precisely the total number of places in which Burberry products are sold, so many franchised establishments are numerous and extensive. However, in 2003 the group estimated 3,162 the number of outlets 12 in around 90 countries. Burberry focuses on retail sales, which were distributed as of March 31, 2007 (end of fiscal year) as follows: 77 Burberry stores (compared to 66 in 2006), 182 dealerships (compared to 164 in 2006) and 33 factory outlet stores (compared to 30 in 2006).

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