Burberry was founded in 1856 when 21-year-old Thomas Burberry, a former draper's apprentice, opened his own store in Basingstoke, Hampshire, England. By 1870, the business had established itself by focusing on the development of outdoors attire. In 1880, Burberry invented gabardine, a hardwearing, water-resistant yet breathable fabric, in which the yarn is waterproofed before weaving. The Gabardine was patented in 1888. Burberry was the original name, but then the company soon switched to using the name Burberrys, after many customers from around the world began calling it Burberrys of London. This name is still visible on many older Burberry products.
In 1891, Burberry opened a shop in the Haymarket, London, which still exists and until recently was the site of Burberry’s corporate headquarters. Now the headquarters are at Horseferry House just behind Houses of Parliament, Westminster (London).
Burberry Group plc (LSE: BRBY) is a British luxury fashion house, manufacturing clothing, fragrance, and fashion accessories. Its distinctive tartan pattern has become one of its most widely copied trademarks. The company has branded stores and franchises around the world, and also sells through concessions in third-party stores. It runs a catalogue business and has a fragrance line. HM Queen Elizabeth II and HRH The Prince of Wales have granted the company Royal Warrants. Burberry's trademark products are its fashionable handbags and exclusive fragrances. The Creative Director is Christopher Bailey. The company is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.