If you haven’t heard of Burberry, or you don’t know how to recognize its logo, you surely know it’s a famous plaid print. 150 years worth of old tradition and print design has made this brand one of the most popular in the fashion world today. It all started with Thomas Burberry in 1985 when he opened his first shop in Basingstoke, England.
In 1880 to create a male coat, he began using the previously unpopular gabardine material. That material brought him great work because it’s hardwearing, waterproof material. When World War I started in 1914, the English military employed Thomas Burberry to adapt officer’s coats for weather conditions. That year he designed his legendary coat called TRENC COAT, which as of today is one of the most famous and best selling pieces of clothes of this brand. That’s how Thomas Burberry became a major manufacturer of uniforms for officers in England, during the First World War. It was certainly a turning point to success and one of the best marketing period for the brand.
Although ‘’Burberry’’ was the original name of the brand, it was later changed to ‘’Burberrys’’ after many customers outside of England began calling it “Burberrys of London’’. The legendary Burberry Equestrian Knight logo was created in 1901 containing the Latin word “prorsum” which in translation means “forward” and since then it has remained unchanged as the main trademark of the brand along with the famous print.
Since its beginnings Burberry was advertised by celebrities. Gabardine jacket became famous thanks to George Mallory on his ill-fated expedition on Mount Everest in 1924. In 1911 Thomas Burberry became outfitter for Ronald Amundsen, the first man to reach South Pole and Ernest Shackleton who led an expedition across Antarctica in 1914.
Burberry plaid print is now one of the most recognizable prints in the fashion world. At the beginning it had been used as a lining in clothes, but later became crucial in the Burberry design. That is because of its perfectly proportional squares in caramel, red, white and black tones which led to the fact that this pint is not just a fashion symbol, but also the mark of England. In 90’s this print design became globally known and popular when Rose Marie Bravo came to Burberry Company. She wanted to adapt this brand to the younger generations and because of that she designed Burberry accessories, umbrellas, sunglasses and teddy bears. That wasn’t enough so she changed the classical squares in print, proportions of the draft were the same, only color changed, so now we have Burberry squares in blue (Blue Bell check), pink (Candy Check) and black and white.
Since 90’s this brand has had the biggest problem with Chinese imitations, which ruined the reputation of fashion brands. There are many brands that have the same problem, but it’s not their biggest concern, while Burberry is working on this problem for 20 years. The final idea for solving this problem was to completely abolish legendary Burberry dice print. Even greater encouragement for the implementation of these ideas caused events in 2004 and 2005 when people called after the British slang ”Chavs”, symbolizing troubled youth from the suburbs who have chose this brand for their uniforms and in that way damaged the reputation of Burberry. It started in England where this brand was formed and later expanded for other several countries where youth was of similar profiles. At once they all wore hats and scarves with Burberry print as a trademark of their life style. Many clubs and pubs now prohibit entry into their premises to people who wear clothes with Burberry print.
Because of such problems, in 2009 the chief of this Burberry fashion house, designer Christopher Bailey decided not to use this print any more. He began working exclusively for the younger generation with lines of Burberry “Burberry Prorsum” and “Burberry Accessorize”. Even after such drastic measures were taken, the print still appears on a lot of accessories and lining in clothes because after all, customer doesn’t buy only the design, but also tradition of print and Equestrian Knight 150 years old. That is exactly what makes this brand a timeless, traditional and legendary, with the perfect balance of color and proportional squares.
Take a look of some Burberry’s advertising campaigns: