British Luxury fashion house in London England. Registered trademark of raincoats, trench coats, ready-to-wear outerwear, fashion accessories, fragrances, sunglasses, and cosmetics.


  1. The Origin: Thomas Burberry
  2. Fabric: Gabardine 
  3. The Trench
    1. British Military 
    2. Explorers
    3. Aviation 
  4. Creative Director: Christopher Bailey
  5. Financial Information
  6. New CEO: Angela Ahrendts
  7. Current Situation

The Origin: Thomas Burberry

Thomas Burberry born in 1835 first was an apprentice draper, then by age 21 he established Burberry specializing in outdoor clothing. As with the Barbour jacket, Burberry is one of those cases of absolute identification between a brand and its product. When you think Burberry, you automatically think of a raincoat-overcoat in beige with a black-and-red tartan lining, with or without a belt at the waist. This prototype was created in 1856 when Thomas Burberry opened his first fabric shop in Basingstoke (Hampshire) under the name T. B. & Sons.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Burberry Founder Thomas Burberry
Founder Thomas Burberry

Fabric: Gabardine

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Fabric Gabardine
Fabric Gabardine

Together with the owner of a cotton mill, Thomas Burberry invented the fabric gabardine, which was breathable and made waterproof a first time during spinning, and a second time when already closely woven. He used the fabric to produce an overcoat-raincoat that was generously sized. This revolutionized rainwear. In 1891 the company moves into its first London store at 30 Haymarket.

The Trench

British Military

In 1901, the Department of War commissioned him to make a model fit for military use. It would make his fortune. The new uniform gave a new shape to the person who wearing it. The following year he took out a patent on gabardine, and, in 1912, he patented the Burberry trench-coat.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Burberry British Officer Wearing Burberry Trench Coat
British Officer Wearing Burberry Trench Coat

At the dawn of World War I, it became the trench-coat of the British Royal Flying Corps. The garment had shoulder straps, a waist belt with rings from which to hang anything a soldier might need in a trench, more small belts to make it a sort of diving suit to protect oneself from water and cold, doubled fabric in the parts most exposed to rain, and many pockets.


By 1914 Burberry was used by several polar explorers. In 1911 it became the outfitter for Roald Amundsen, the first man to reach the South Pole. Also, Sir Ernest Shackleton, an acclaimed polar explorer, wore Burberry gabardine for three expeditions in the early 20th century.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Burberry Advertisement

Starting in 1920, after being tested in that terrible war, Burberry was offered to a middle-class clientele and was immediately successful, a success which has continued until today, without downturns, despite dozens of imitators.


Mame Fashion Dictionary: Burberry Clouston and Betty Kirby
Clouston and Betty Kirby

In 1937 Burberry designed aviation garments for A.E. Clouston and Betty Kirby-Green who broke the world record for the fastest return flight from London to Cape Town in “The Burberry” plane sponsored by the brand.

Until 1955, Burberry remained a family-controlled company, until it was reincorporated. By this time Burberry was so apart of British culture that Queen Elizabeth II and Prince of Whales granted the company Royal Warrants.

Creative Director: Christopher Bailey

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Burberry Classic Check Pattern
Classic Check Pattern

At the end of the 1990s, the company hired a designer, Roberto Menichetti, who started a line that was extremely innovative when compared to the company’s stable tradition.

In 2000, the company is restructured and promoted, revitalizing its success and its sales also in new market fields. Later in September the Spring/Summer 2001 Collection designed by Menichetti is presented in London. In September 2000 the Spring-Summer 2001 Collection designed by Menichetti is presented in London. In the Gubbio workshop where Mrs. Ivonne, the mother of the Italian-American designer, works in an artisanal manner, the garments are manufactured in silk and cotton sewn with carbon threads. Later in May 2001, Menichetti leaves the company. His position is taken by Christopher Bailey.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Burberry Christopher Bailey
Christopher Bailey

The characteristic elements of Burberry remained over time: English tweed and trenches are re-proposed in different ways every year. The breath of news brought by the arrival of Bailey as new creative director was shown in the creation of a second line, Burberry Prorsum, more linked to trends and aimed at a younger audience. The tradition of the brand and its essential elements (the use of tweed, the trench revisited with their iconic pattern, and the color palette) mingled with a need of modernization and conquest of new consumers.

The same name of the brand, Prorsum, is the Latin motto of encouragement (let’s do it!), which is written on the flag of the Burberry logo to symbolize a look at the future, without sacrificing the tradition, and the core business, that has made the fortune of the brand.

Christopher Bailey not only revisited shapes and volumes, colors and materials, but brought to the brand a breath of glamor that cannot be renounced for visibility. In addition to the involvement of movie stars, music and fashion, even the advertising campaigns became modern and competitive.

The brand launched itself in unexplored sectors of the market, such as perfume, cologne, accessories, a denim line for women and men in the spring/summer 2009 collection and the announcement of the imminent realization of a line of underwear. The rediscovered vivacity also led the brand to the expansion of its boutique chains and to a restyling of the stores, as well as a new focus on promotional languages, such as the online sale of its products.

Financial Information

By March 2002, the company acquires its own distribution network in the Korean market. In June, they announce that the previous year ended with a 220% rise in operating profit, equal to 69 million. By the end of the year, shops in San José, California, and New York are opened, the latter after a restyling of its six floors.

Later in July, the British Group, Great Universal Stores (GUS), which among the various brands controlled also Burberry, decided to go public. The share price is fixed at 230 pence, or 3.6 Euros. The total value of the shareholding is 1.15 billion. For the moment, only 25% of shares will be offered, which will bring 282 million into the coffers of GUS. At the end of the year, the second single-brand shop opens in Knightbridge, and a new space is opened in Barcelona. The year ends with a 19% increase in revenue.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Burberry Shop London Knightsbridge
Boutique in Knightsbridge, London

For Autumn-Winter 2003-2004, the Thomas Burberry brand for leisure and sport is relaunched. This low-price line is offered for young people between 18 and 25 and is inspired by rugby uniforms and jeans. During June 2003, Rose Marie Bravo of Burberry receives the Eleanor Lambert Award during the annual ceremony organized by the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA).

New CEO: Angela Ahrendts

In 2006, Rose Marie Bravo, Chief Executive Officer who was said to have led the company to mass market success through licensing, retired. She was replaced by Angela Ahrendts, who previously worked for Liz Claiborne, and took up the position of CEO on 1 July 2006.  A year later in 2007 the brand started selling online.

In November 2009 Christopher Bailey became Chief Creative Officer. Through the next years, Ahrendts and Bailey successfully turned around the company’s reputation by removing the brand’s check-pattern from all but 10% of the company’s products.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Burberry Spring/Summer 2009
Spring/Summer 2009

April 2014, Angela Ahrendts left Burberry for Apple Inc. and Christopher Bailey became CEO and remains Chief Creative Officer.

Current Situation  

In February 2017 Burberry  revolutionizes the fashion industry and does the first ever See Now Buy Now fashion show for Fall/Winter 2017 collection. Meaning fans can buy the products that were just shown on the runway right after the show.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Burberry Fall/Winter 2017
Fall/Winter 2017

“The changes we are making will allow us to build a closer connection between the experience that we create with our runway shows and the moment when people can physically explore the collections for themselves.” Christopher Bailey. 

In 2017 Burberry announced a new partnership with Coty to grow and development its beauty lines. Later, in July previous Celine boss, Marco Gobbetti, replaced Bailey as CEO and Bailey will remain Chief Creative Officer.   


Paul Smith, English tailor and designer, inaugurated an unconventional style, constantly reworking. Read the story of the designer known for colored stripes and men’s formal suits.


  1. Style
  2. You Can Find Inspiration in Everything (and if you cannot, look again!)
  3. Paul Smith in Milan
  4. Boutiques and Iconic Stripes
  5. The Recent Year’s
  6. Current Situation


Paul Smith (1946) is an English tailor and designer. The first thing he sold was a pocket handkerchief with the British flag. Today, in the stores, everything is from robots to ties. He is always unconventional. It has transformed the tailoring into an explosion of colors, inventions, fashion trends combined with the oldest quality of fabrics. He still has the spirit of a twenty-something, cutting-edge designer, which is why he continues to ride the crest of the wave.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Paul Smith Portrait of the Designer
Portrait of the Designer

His clothes are like his personality: amusing and serious at the same time, eccentric but wearable. He opened a multi-brand shop in Nottingham in 1970, and nine years later opened his first proper shop, revolutionizing the concept of selling space, which from then on was no longer just the space used for the display of goods, but a meeting point for anyone interested in style.

His first menswear fashion show was in 1976 in Paris. From that point on the label has grown from strength to strength. The brand’s reputation has never ceased to grow. He has also been asked to be a consultant to the Prime Minister Tony Blair.

You Can Find Inspiration in Everything (and if you cannot, look again!)

In February 2001, Paul Smith joined The Queen on the Birthday Honors List, an acknowledgment of his contribution to British fashion. Later, in November he published You can get inspiration from anything (and if you cannot, look again!). It is not a fashion monograph, nor a clothing catalog, but a collection of images where the author is portrayed in the most diverse situations. The volume, 288 pages, was edited by Alan Aboud who has co-authored the author as an art director for more than ten years. The project was also signed by Jonathan Ive (iMac designer). At the same time, he opened a shop in London at the Royal Exchange.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Paul Smith Book "You Can Find Inspiration in Everything"
Paul Smith’s Book: “You Can Find Inspiration in Everything”

Paul Smith in Milan

In March 2002, Paul Smith opened his first single store in Italy, via Manzoni in Milan. The project is by Sophie Hicks. Then, the first men’s shoe store was opened in Paris. The following month, in collaboration with Cappellini, the Mondo furniture collection will be launched during the Milan Furniture Show.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Paul Smith the Designer at the Salone Del Mobile in Collaboration with Gufram 2016
The Designer at the Salone Del Mobile in Collaboration with Gufram 2016

During the same period, the designer organized Great Brits, an exhibition that pays homage to the greatest British designers. The exhibition was held in his own studio in Milan at Viale Umbria 95. The designer chose four young names: D. Mathias Bengtsson, Tord Boontje, Daniel Brown, and Sam Buxton.

In 2003, after the enormous success achieved with the first collaboration, Reebok commissioned the designer to create a new collection of 80’s men-women shoes, named after Paul Smith, Reebok 2. The materials are mainly orange and blue nylon and real red and blue leather. Exclusively worldwide, only in the stores of Paul Smith (around 250 worldwide) you can buy the first book written by David Bowie at the “modest” sum of £ 295, Moonage Daydream: the truth behind Ziggy. Each of the 2500 numbered copies is autographed.

Boutiques and Iconic Stripes

In February 2005 he opened his first shop for the Pink line in the Daikanyama district of Tokyo. The flagship store measures 120 square meters and is entirely for womenswear and accessories. It is called Paul Smith Pink+. Then, in March he released the Black collection, following an earlier Blue version, the second official women’s line to be found in department stores such as Harvey Nichols, Harrods, and Selfridges.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Paul Smith Striped Wallpaper Signed by Paul Smith for Maharam
Striped Wallpaper Signed by Paul Smith for Maharam

Paul Smith boutiques are known for a distinguished playful design. Every boutique is designed and decorated differently, but all are full of color and character, mirroring his personality. This concept reflects his unconventional design.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Paul Smith LA Boutique
Paul Smith LA Boutique

In 2006, with the intention of using it only for a season, the stylist launches the iconic signature of Paul Smith Stripes. There are not many styles that can be worn either by a two year old girl, or a 35-year-old man. The stripes are perhaps the only candidate. The rows have the power to make a highly distinguishable surface, which, speaking of clothes, explains why they have never been kept in great care.

The Recent Year’s

In 2009 Paul Smith made a collection of bike clothes in association with Rapha. In this period, he opened stores in Dubai, Bangalore, Leeds, Antwerp, Los Angeles, and London.

In mid-November 2013 the company celebrated their 40th anniversary in the fashion world at the London Design Museum with the exhibition Hello, My Name is Paul Smith. The goal is to explore all aspects of the designer’s career, including future development. Accurate reproduction of Paul Smith’s studio, as well as an immersive installation, reveal some of his inspirations. The exhibition is a real journey through its collections, a day in the life of a parade and collaborations with other brands.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Paul Smith Exhibition "Hello My Name is Paul Smith"
Exhibition “Hello My Name is Paul Smith”

Current Situation

In 2017, in Florence, Paul Smith lit a fluorescent light in his youth line, PS by Paul Smith, and re-launched with a focus on basic clothes. The designer argues that the cornerstone of his business is the basis:

“Well done, of good quality, simple cut, made with special fabrics and easy to wear.”

Paul Smith has not presented his collection to Pitti Man for 23 years, but has considered Pitti Uomo 91 the right occasion to present his new collection. The latter translates his attitudes towards classic and bizarre in terms related to the new generations.

Mame Fashion Dictionary: Paul Smith Presented at 91 Pitti Uomo
Paul Smith Presented at 91 Pitti Uomo