burberry advertisement 1908burberry trenchcoat


Undoubtedly one of the most recognizable plaids in the world, the Burberry check, formally known as the Haymarket Check or Burberry Classic Check, was first introduced in 1924, and used in the lining of Burberry’s iconic trench coats– but there’s a lot more than the check to the Burberry story.

A few years ago, I had the pleasure of visiting London with the designer Jeffrey Banks, who (along with Doria De La Chapelle) wrote TARTAN Romancing the Plaid. While there, we visited the Burberry headquarters and were given a tour of their archives and in-house museum– which included Burberry coats owned by the Queen and exact replicas of garments they had made for Shackleton, who led the legendary 1914 expedition to cross Antarctica.  The Burberry company history is simply amazing.  Their many contributions to fabric & garment innovation that hugely benefited exploration endeavors and war-time efforts alike are mostly unknown to a lot of us, and deserve to be heralded.

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