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The Evolution and Heritage of Burberry

Legendary yet contemporary, people still hold British fashion label Burberry’s trademark black, red, white tartan check with beige base color in extremely high regard. The pattern, representing the brand’s 164 years history, also tells the story of the labor movement in Great Britain. Revered by high-class nobles, working-class folks and even football hooligans, Burberry was founded by Thomas Burberry in 1856, aiming to create clothing that helped the British to conquer the United Kingdom’s ever-changing weather.

In 1879, Thomas Burberry invented Gabardine, a fabric intended to combat humid, stuffy weather. This breathable and waterproof material was being used in making the Tielocken coat, the predecessor to the world-famous trench coat. Originally, the trench coat was not recognized as a fashion piece, it was invented as a military piece with its ability to shield the British Army from harsh weather conditions.

The label became part of modern culture in the late 90s with logomania at its peak. In 2000, Kate Moss wore a Burberry Nova Check wedding dress in an ad campaign that further elevated the brand. Christopher Bailey joined Burberry in 2001 as Creative Director, eventually boosting the brand’s business and design enormously for 17 years.

In 2018, Riccardo Tisci joined Burberry. His first mission was to work with graphic designer Peter Saville to create a new logo identity for the brand. The interlocking “TB” monogram prints in a neutral palette of chocolate brown, chestnut brown, beige, with red strips laid on its top which pays homage to the founder Thomas Burberry. Under Tisci’s gothic, creative mindset, his second mission was to rejuvenate the brand. Bold, abstract photo prints are infused in oversized sweaters and t-shirts, alongside other playful accessories like AirPods cases and small coin purses with chains.

In the latest SS20 “Evolution” collection, Tisci pursues a celebration of new house codes inspired by the house’s heritage and dedication to the future. The collection includes classic Burberry Nova Checks, ‘TB’ monogram patterns, a Horseferry Road print shirt that represents the brand’s headquarters, a submarine full print sweater, and Riccardo’s signature deer prints, hearkening back to his Givenchy days. The Burberry Spring/Summer 2020 Collection for men and women is now available on HBX, scroll through and shop below.