Where does Burberry Originate?
Since 1891 Burberry has been as British as it gets. Like black cabs, English breakfast tea and red-letter boxes [the latter sadly all but obsolete], the luxury brand that was founded by Thomas Burberry is virtually synonymous with a particularly British kind of style.
Well, that’s the image Burberry still cultivates. It’s unlikely that most Brits these days would be dressed in a tan trench coat come rainy season. Burberry’s prices are beyond the reach of all but the well-to-do and, these days, that crowd have a many more options to choose from.
Burberry, of course, originated in Basingstoke, a middle-class town in the south/central part of England. Originally a manufacturer of tough, rain resistant outerwear, a commission in the first world war to produce trench coats for officers led to the expansion and fame of the company we know today.
Changes in fashion, marketing, and consumer trends? Not a problem. Innovation has always been a strong Brit and Burberry strong point. From the days of the gabardine trench coat – a truly wonderful invention that still features strongly in runway lineups – to the repurposing of brand in the 90s to meet the new fashion/luxury mandate; to surviving the over-licensing scare that saw the wrong crowd donning too many Burberry check products, to early internet innovations and the re-integration of signature pieces of old.
Bags and accessories are now a key component of the Burberry offer, with those items being the obvious lux purchase for time-strapped/cash-rich customers at airports and on holidays.
Burberry’s business and design model has stood the test of time and [particularly under the stewardship of Christopher Bailey until 2018] has led with a strong web presence and tie-ins with celebs. Rihanna, Billie Eilish and Emma Watson have all taken the tan trench coat or travel bag route.
Where are Burberry Bags Crafted?
Neither is Burberry primarily manufactured in the UK anymore. Italy and China are common manufacturing bases, as are other locations throughout Europe.
That’s to be expected from what is now a truly international concern, with much of its business enacted in the middle and far East and at airports in between.
Why the fuss about a brand that has seemingly gone the same route as former British powerhouses like Rolls Royce? Well, Burberry still operates independently. And in today’s fashion climate – dominated by giant holding companies LVMH and Kering – being independent is a big deal.
In fact, it goes some way to explaining Burberry’s need to outsource production and market directly to Europe and Asia, and it also explains why Burberry has retained a signature look long after other British mainstays like Aquascutum and Paul Smith have faded.
Make no mistake, in terms of style and aesthetic mold, Burberry [under the increasingly interesting control of creative director Riccardo Tisci] is very much a British set up.
Burberry’s check and tan have stayed and become the USP for otherwise fascinating explorations into layered, neck-to-knee garments. Expect it to feature more in A/W collections, while Tisci loves less branding and vivid, ocean-like colors for S/S.
In bags, a square silhouette and preference for stiff-upper-lip formality and subdued padded lux tend to dominate. Ostentation is not on the agenda.
So where next for the British brand that dared to conquer the world? Expect more exploration and experimentation with layers and fabrics, but don’t expect that gabardine or check to be out of the picture any time soon.