Burberry is a British luxury fashion house that was founded by Thomas Burberry in 1856. After finished an apprenticeship at a local draper Thomas Burberry decided to open his own store in Basingstoke, Hampshire, England. He was only 21 years old. From the beginning his focus was more on quality fabrics and functionality rather than stylish designs. By the 1870s the company became known for their outdoors attire.
The company's break through success happened after Thomas Burberry invented a fabric that became known as Garberdine. The worsted wool yarn was treated with water repelling oils before weaving. The result was a fabric that is very wind and water resistant yet breathable and comfortable to wear. With the invention of this new fabric Thomas Burberry was asked to create a coat for British's high ranking military officers, and in 1901 Thomas Burberry invented the Trench Coat. Then in 1911 he outfitted the explorer Roald Amundsen, the first man that reached the South Pole. In his journal Amindsen wrote: "Heartiest thanks. Burberry overalls were made extensive use of during the sledge journey to the Pole and proved real good friends indeed."
Today Burberry is most known for their trademark Tartan pattern - a window-pane checkered pattern that combines the colors tan, red, black and white. This pattern is found on a wide range of Burberry clothing items and fashion accessories such as scarves, handbags, neckties, the innerlining on coats and jackets, umbrellas, and even underwear. Burberry's designs are classic British and are often times associated with the "New Endland Preppy Look".