Radley bags may be the best-selling UK designer handbags but long before Radley came along, Burberry's was already a British institution. Burberry's is a UK company that was founded in 1856 in Basingstoke by Thomas Burberry a draper's apprentice. Before Burberry handbags became desirable designer items, Burberry's accessories and clothing were bought by well-to-do British families with a taste that was quite peculiarly British.
Burberry is also known for having invented the gabardine, a fabric that is hard-wearing, and water-resistant but breathes. In 1911, they provided the clothes for Roald Amundsen, the first person to travel to the South Pole, and Shackleton, for his 1914 expedition across Antarctica. In 1914 Burberry's officer's coat was adapted to suit the conditions in the trenches of the First World War, thus creating the "trench coat".
Burberry is famous throughout the world for its checked pattern of course, which was created in the 1920s as a lining for its trench coats.
Burberry also created clothing for aviators and sponsored Mrs. Betsy Kirby Green amd A. E. Clouston on their flight which broke the record for London to South Africa in 1937.
The Haymarket check or "Burberry classic check" - black, tan, and red was not widely used on umbrellas, scarves, and luggage until 1967. The Novacheck was launched to appeal to the younger market, and was then "exploded" i.e. made bigger and changed into a diamond pattern.
Burberry has had some image problems in the UK as a result of being adopted by British football supporters and hooligans and assorted chavs but the brand has now succesfully thrown off this image and is in the process of reasserting itself as a high-quality British luxury brand with Royal Warrants from the Queen.
Burberry handbags are now a major part of its product range along with exclusive fragrances. The new Creative Director for Burberry is Christopher Bailey who has transformed the company and made it a competitor of such luxury brands as Gucci, Dior and Prada.
Burberry has achieved a number of major coups recently such as getting Glenda Bailey of US Harper's Bazaar and Carine Roitfeld from French Vogue were to attend there recent event in London along with Anna Wintour editor of American Vogue, the biggest name in the fashion business and persuading Sarah Jessica Parker to sport a Burberry coat during Sex and the City the movie.
Christopher Bailey has transformed Burberry into a competitor for the likes of Dior and Gucci. So you can now buy Burberry again without running the risk of people thinking you are common.
So if you want something snooty, expensive and British check out the Burberry checks they specialize in handbags, but also do boots and I confidently expect them to be worn by numerous fashion icons over the next few months as Burberry completes its rebranding campaign.
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