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The expertise

Mr Christopher Bailey has twice been named Menswear Designer of the Year at the British Fashion Awards since joining Burberry in 2001. He was educated at the Royal College of Art in London where he was discovered by Ms Donna Karan, and before starting at Burberry, was a senior designer at Gucci.

The inspiration

Leather biker gear from the early 20th century, designed by Mr Thomas Burberry himself, was the inspiration behind the men's spring/summer 2011 Prorsum collection, which featured rugged leather jackets teamed with gabardine trousers.

The materials

The jacket is made in Italy from calfskin leather, and was washed to loosen and slightly distend the seams - giving it the distinctive 'worn in' vintage look. The leather is also over-dyed by hand. The inside of the jacket is bound with rubber to make it waterproof, enhancing its protective and functional qualities.

The details

There are eight pockets on the front of the jacket and two internal pockets, so you won't be short of storage. The jacket has a military look, thanks to the epaulettes, belt and cuff straps. The side vents have a rivet closure.

The heritage

Although Burberry is best known for its trench coats, throughout its history the brand has supplied rugged outerwear to motorcyclists, aviators and explorers. Burberry's expertise in outerwear dates right back to the label's founding in 1856.

Words by Mr Peter Henderson | Photography by Mr Will Thom
"I found this incredible book in our archives that was full of biker images and it seems that Thomas Burberry had started working on biker clothes in the early 1900's...that started the whole the leather, biker-stud theme."
Mr Christopher Bailey, chief creative officer, Burberry

Burberry started life in 1856 when 21-year-old Mr Thomas Burberry, a draper's apprentice, opened a small shop in Basingstoke, England. Burberry quickly gained a loyal following for its high quality, innovative outerwear, and the rest is history. Milestones of the brand's 155-year heritage include the invention of gabardine, a durable outerwear fabric, outfitting the first man ever to reach the South Pole, and developing the now-iconic trench coat.

Today, Burberry is the ultimate British luxury brand, and under Mr Christopher Bailey the label's annual turnover has exceeded £1 billion. The brand continues to lead the way with its critically-lauded collections and keen uptake of technology, which saw Burberry stream its last runway show live with a 'Click to Chat' feature where viewers could get immediate product information. It is very fitting that Prorsum, the name of Burberry's runway line, should be the Latin word for 'forwards'.

THE Burberry story

the beginning
Burberry's first shop in Basingstoke, Hampshire, England, seen here in 1856, the year it opened
Sir Ernest Shackleton, above, in 1904 on an Antarctic expedition outfitted by Burberry. When Captain Roald Amundsen became the first man to reach the South Pole in 1911, he was also equipped by Burberry
A Burberry ad from the 1950s for one of the brand's signature waterproof gabardine coats. The trench famously worn by Mr Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca was by Burberry
The plaid
A Burberry ad from the 1960s. Around this time the now-famous Burberry plaid, previously used to line trench coats, was introduced for fashion accessories
Burberry's chief creative officer oversees every aspect of the brand's designs, from the collections to the famous ad campaigns, currently shot by Mr Mario Testino
In 2009 Burberry moved into their current 160,000 square foot headquarters, Horseferry House, in Westminster, London


the knack
the knack