Burberry Group PLC is a British luxury fashion house headquartered in London, England. Its main fashion house focuses on and distributes trench coats (for which it is most famous), ready-to-wear outerwear, fashion accessories, fragrances, sunglasses, and cosmetics. Burberry was established in 1856 by Thomas Burberry.
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Burberry was founded in 1856 when 21-year-old Thomas Burberry, a former draper’s apprentice, opened his own store in Basingstoke, Hampshire, England. By 1870, the business had established itself by focusing on the development of outdoor attire. In 1879, Burberry introduced in his brand the gabardine, a hardwearing, water-resistant yet breathable fabric, in which the yarn is waterproofed before weaving. In 1891, Burberry opened a shop in the Haymarket, London.
In 1901, the Burberry Equestrian Knight Logo was developed containing the Latin word “Prorsum”, meaning forwards, and later registered it as a trademark in 1909. In 1911, the company became the outfitters for Roald Amundsen, the first man to reach the South Pole, and Ernest Shackleton, who led a 1914 expedition to cross Antarctica. A Burberry gabardine jacket was worn by George Mallory on his attempt on Mount Everest in 1924.
Adapted to meet the needs of military personnel, the “trench coat” was born during the First World War due to its being worn by British officers in the trenches. After the war, it became popular with civilians. The Burberry check has been in use since at least the 1920s, primarily as a lining in its trench coats. Burberry also specially designed aviation garments. In 1937, A. E. Clouston and Betty Kirby-Green broke the world record for the fastest return flight from London to Cape Town in The Burberry airplane that was sponsored by the brand. Burberry was an independent family-controlled company until 1955 when Great Universal Stores (GUS) assumed ownership.