One of the most famous British luxury fashion houses, Burberry has made a name for itself through superior outerwear and a distinctive tartan pattern that is recognized worldwide.
The label was found in 1856 by Thomas Burberry in Hampshire, England. Perhaps motivated by English weather conditions, Thomas Burberry saw a need for durable, hard wearing outdoor attire. He spent his career perfecting and innovating fabrics and textiles for the Burberry label which made the brand famous by outfitting renowned explorers such as Roald Amundsen and Ernest Shackleton on expeditions to Antartica.
The famous red, camel, black and white Burberry check was introduced in 1904 as lining for interior of jackets and trench coats. By 1967 the brand’s check trademark was expanded and applied to accessories such as umbrellas, bags and scarves. The distinction of the Burberry check allowed the brand to be recognized internationally as a heritage English brand that was supported by the issue of Royal Warrants by HRH Queen Elizabeth II and The Prince of Wales.
The popularity of the brand reached its peak during the late 90’s and early 00’s as luxury logo mania hit its peak amongst consumers and Burberry found it’s famous check pattern abused by counterfeiters and football hooligans. These phenomena caused Burberry to be over-saturated in the market and the brand lost its luster.
Since then Burberry has been realigning and pairing back its image to be more relevant to today’s market and luxury consumers. Rather than evoking a classic English heritage direction for the brand, Burberry has been aligning with edgy models such as Kate Moss and Agyness Deyn, as well as rock-chic crooners The Kooks. Such strategic brand decisions have been executed by CEO Angela Ahrendts and Creative Director Christopher Bailey who are also pushing the brand to innovate within the digital space.
As a means to reach wider and younger audiences, in 2009 Burberry has launched a site called Art of The Trench in collaboration with fashion blogger Scott Shuman (The Satorialist). The brand has also introduced live catwalk shows broadcasted online along with the ability for consumers to buy directly off the runway, further establishing themselves as innovators in the digital realm.
Photo Credits: Burberry 2009