Thomas Burberry founded his clothing empire in Winchester Street, Basingstoke in 1856. Since that time the Company has gone on to become a British Luxury Fashion House and major international and FTSE 100 component company that leads where others follow.
Thomas Burberry designed and created the famous breathable Gaberdine Weatherproof Cloth from which raincoats and especially trench coats were manufactured in their millions. Burberry stores continue to stock top quality outer garments, and fashion accessories and of course trench coats which started life in just two colours, Khaki, and Black, since 2015 the signal coats have been available for ladies and gents and in Red, White and Honey.
The designation trench coat originated in the early 20th Century when the format was designed to serve the needs of the Military especially in wartime and was very much a ‘trench coat’. The coat was supplied with a belt and loops onto which much-needed items could be attached for easy access and lapel boards, or epaulettes, that could carry Officers badges of rank.
Such is the weatherproof nature and quality of Burberry weatherproof clothing that it was used by Sir Ernest Shackleton three times during his Polar Expeditions, this was truly groundbreaking foul weather wear.
In 1937 Betty Kirby-Green and Flying Officer Arthur Clouston broke the world record for a return flight from London to Cape Town wearing Burberry flying suits and the Burberry name accompanied them, it was emblazoned on the fuselage of their aircraft, the flight took them 45 hours!
The Burberry company holds the Royal Warrant for HM The Queen and HRH Prince Charles and is globally acknowledged as being one of the Top Global Brands.
Hampshire Cultural trust holds the County’s collections of Burberry material date from the 19th century, with billheads, advertisements, and packaging. From the Edwardian period there is memorabilia from the fire that occurred at the Winchester Street premises in Basingstoke in 1905, and four smocks that were remaining shop stock in 1909. There is a full-length Edwardian raincoat, currently on display at the Willis Museum, Basingstoke, alongside a 1920s example.
In the modern-day Burberry garments are front and centre at the Festival Place Shopping Centre in the centre of Town, and in fashionable locations from Basingstoke to New York and Hong Kong where the brand is acknowledged as being World Class.
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