Friday, May 11

Ever wonder where the Burberry Haymarket plaid came from?


Burberry is arguably one of the most successful fashion houses in the market.  It boasts a listing on the London Stock Exchange, a listing on the FTSE 100 Index, and Royal Warrants from both Queen Elizabeth II and Charles Prince of Wales.  In 2009, Burberry was ranked as the 98th most valuable brand in the world by Business Weekly.  In addition, Burberry has sustained a long and rich history of providing luxury items of exceptional quality, several of which are marked with a distinctive beige, black, and burgundy plaid.

Burberry opened its doors in 1856 in Basingstoke, Hampshire, England.  Founded by Thomas Burberry, a 21-year-old draper’s apprentice, Burberry quickly became renowned for their outerwear.  In 1880 Burberry introduced the garbardine, a trench coat made of yarn that was water-proofed prior to weaving, which produced a garment both water-resistant and breathable.  The popularity of this hard-wearing, high quality coat spread rapidly, along with the reputability of the company.  However the term “garbardine,” coined by Thomas Burberry himself, never caught on, as King Edward VII often commanded, “Give me my Burberry,” when referring to the coat.  Shortly thereafter, the company opened a shop in the Haymarket, London and began using the signature Haymarket check plaid on the inside of their outerwear.  The equestrian knight logo appeared around the same time.

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