What is it about a pattern that makes it so recognizable, so well-known throughout the world?  My case in point is the Burberry pattern.  Everyone recognizes the Burberry check, the black, white and red ‘nova check’.  Millions of people world-wide own a piece.   But few know its history.  Burberry was founded in 1856 by 21-year-old Thomas Burberry, a haberdasher in England.  At the time Thomas Burberry focused on the development of outdoor attire and in 1880 he developed and later patented Gabardine.  (Think wool gabardine pants) This hard-wearing, water-resistant,  breathable ‘miracle’ material was originally worn by polar explorers; in 1911 Roald Amundsen the first man to reach the South Pole, in 1914 by Ernest Shackleton on his expedition to cross Antarctica and in 1924 by George Mallory on his climb of Mount Everest.  In 1924, the black, white and red ‘Burberry check’ was first used as a lining for the famous Burberry trench coat.  It was not until 1967 that the recognizable pattern was widely used on its own for everything from umbrellas, to purses to upholstery.  Burberrys (now spelled with an ‘s’) is now a UK-based luxury fashion house that manufactures clothing and accessories.   So….an iconic pattern that has become synonymous with high-class, quality and excellence started out as the lining of a coat!  



2 thoughts on “Burberry

  1. Hey awesome post about Burberry and the significance of patterns. Patterns can really develop into marketing labels for companies. Patterns can even represent people such as the tartans of certain families. Businesses should be aware of the importance of patterns in order to create an easily reconizable symbol.

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