LONDON — Burberry trenchcoats and tartans.
The luxury British brand is celebrating its 160-year-old story with its first book, produced by Assouline. The tome traces Burberry’s history from its conception in 1856 by Thomas Burberry, to current day, as well as the work of its creative directors.
The 252-page book is available for preorder Friday on Burberry and Assouline’s websites, with a release date of March. 28.
Split into five chapters, the book documents the evolution of the small family-run business that dealt in outdoor attire into a global powerhouse within British fashion.
Key moments in the book include the Burberry equestrian knight logo containing the Latin word Prorsum, produced in 1901 and trademarked in 1909; explorers such as Roald Amundsen in 1911, Ernest Shackleton in 1914 and George Mallory, during his attempt to climb Mount Everest in 1924, all wearing the brand; the birth of the trench coat during the First World War; King George V’s appointment of a Royal Warrant for tailoring in 1919; World War II soldiers in Burberry military apparel and accessories, including the trench coat, and continued production of ready-to-wear in the 1940s.
The book features 200 illustrations and imagery from Christopher Bailey and Riccardo Tisci’s tenure at Burberry as chief creative officer, where they each interpreted the house codes, checks and trenchcoats differently.
“Burberry is a story of creativity, exploration, innovation and community — all of which continue to be at the heart of the brand. In unearthing a dormant treasure trove, countless gold nuggets have been revealed. This book, the only one to be endorsed by the brand in recent times, presents a panorama of the company’s extraordinary heritage, which deserves to be widely celebrated. It’s the stuff of legends,” said Carly Eck, brand curator and archive at Burberry.
Two weeks ahead of his runway debut for Burberry, Lee dropped a hint about the direction he plans to take with the brand with a set of images using London’s landmark as the backdrop, including Trafalgar Square, home of the National Gallery and Nelson’s Column, and Albert Bridge, named for Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert.
Lee updated the brand’s equestrian knight design, which was last used by his friend Bailey, and introduced a new slim typeface in an electric blue.
He staged his first show in Kennington, a residential neighborhood in south London, where models walked down the dark runway in faux fur, trapper hats, a garden of rose prints and embellishments and a bright yellow duck print to the mix.
“I find it very British. It makes me think of the park and Burberry is an outdoors brand associated with the rain and protection. And the brand is about functionality,” Lee said backstage, who took the afterparty celebrations not to a fancy venue, but a pub in central London.