Discover our brand history, including the invention of gabardine and the evolution of our signature trench coat design.
THE INVENTION OF GABARDINE
The innovative fabric was invented in 1879 by Thomas Burberry. Breathable and weatherproof, it revolutionised rainwear – which up until then had typically been heavy and uncomfortable to wear.
The company moves into its first London store at 30 Haymarket in 1891.
The trench coat was developed to serve the needs of the military in the early 20th century. Epaulettes displayed an officer’s rank, while the belt’s metal D-rings were used to attach equipment.
Burberry was the outfitter of choice for several polar explorers, as our gabardine fabric’s protective and lightweight qualities made it well-suited to cope with inhospitable conditions.
In the film Lily James portrays Betty, a fictionalised character inspired by the real-life achievements of Betty Kirby-Green. The blue flying suit she wears has been based on images from the Burberry Heritage Archive.
Betty and Arthur’s record-breaking flight lasted just
over 45 hours.
Shot in England, the film was directed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Asif Kapadia and written by Academy Award nominee Matt Charman.