Is Burberry Worth it?

The business of marketing typically focuses on convincing the consumer that they need a product in order to lead a more fulfilling and complete life.  Many of us allow ourselves to be managed and manipulated by clever marketers and literally buy into a brand lifestyle.   

Few brands live up to promises made on billboards and magazines but some have a legacy of tradition and quality which upholds their name, their longevity is evidence of their integrity and worth.

Burberry bear

Burberry clothing, footwear, accessories, and small leathers are always an investment; this iconic brand offers quality that will bring rewards in the longevity of service and pleasure.  A classic piece of Burberry finished to a characteristically high standard is a statement piece in any wardrobe.  

The 90s Campagne

As I remember, the 1990s witnessed a saturation of the Burberry brand, the company launched new fragrances and presented a confident, dynamic image of itself, to meet modern demands and sensibilities, which meant we saw pictures of Christy Turlington in elegant understated Burberry check, trench and tweeds.  

In truth, most of the intense media hype was associated with the Burberry fragrance launch and we all know how nauseating these aggressive fragrance campaigns can be; seeing the same advertising on billboards, television, in bus stops, magazines, in every department store and pharmacy was akin to being slowly tortured by the repetition of sameness. 

Pushy advertising consumes too much of our consciousness, big and in your face is not always beautiful and that is part of the reason I consciously decided to give this brand a wide berth.  What I found particularly unpalatable was the overwhelming message being driven home by the fact that this company had the wherewithal to make you remember their name.  Burberry seemed successful enough and did not need my support.  

I moved on to other brands such as Ghost, Max Mara, and Mondi who seemed to be more subtle and less obvious than Burberry of the 90s.  Being one of those people who prefers to avoid following the herd has meant that I consciously and deliberately, as Fleetwood Mac would put it, go my own way and do not like to be dictated to by trends, fashion, marketing media, or influencers of any kind.

If I am honest, it was those apparently vacuous trend slaves, the marketing agent’s dream victim, that really turned me off this brand; they seemed so easily manipulated by marketing media.  In fact, they did not give the impression of being able to select brands on merit but rather only really appreciated fashion when they had seen it on ‘celebrity.

Checking in With Quality!

However, I have to confess that I was eventually won over, in a fashion, by the clothing branch of Burberry.  The fashion brand’s screaming subtlety saw me eventually yielding to its powers of persuasion, tempted by the quality and timeless sobriety of characteristic checks and patterns in muted hues, only associated with this classic UK name

Burberry bag

Burberry and its characteristic checks are subtle but always present.  I think the company designers have enough savvy to avoid saturating the market with the brand’s instantly identifiable and characteristic trademark.  In maintaining a muted palette of refinement and elegance, Burberry offers continuity of quality at a price which although not insignificant, is not insurmountable.

The Magnificent Three

The ‘Diffusion decades’, which emerged in the early 1980s, witnessed the introduction of brand subdivisions created by established high-end fashion houses in response to consumer demand for affordable versions of runway designs.  

This meant that internationally renowned fashion brands were in a position to offer their label, albeit in a slightly pared-down version, to the consumer who wanted to buy into the brand but at more accessible prices.  

The mid-level consumer could easily identify the look and price point that suited their lifestyle and as a consequence make that specific diffusion ‘line’ their own.  Burberry’s leading diffusion lines included: ‘Burberry Prorsum’ which strut dreamily hot off the catwalk, ‘Burberry London’ a more professional and sober line, and ‘Burberry ‘Brit’, youthfully suited to a more dressed down, casual image.  

Please ‘Prorsum’ Me!

In 1999 the brand further enhanced its image and reputation with the introduction of its diffusion line: the insanely desirable ‘Burberry Prorsum’.  A splendiferous monument of what can only be described as ‘fashion art’ or ‘the art of fashion, presenting life-changing concepts and designs.  I challenge any individual to wear these legendary designs and not morph into an upgraded version of themselves. 

Burberry Labels

These designs give one the courage and confidence to take on the world and become a better shade of human.  The joy derived out of every delicate detail from the topstitching in the leather cuff strapping to the flamboyant double collar of the Prorsum shearling aviator jacket is intoxicating and dangerously addictive, but alas it is no more!

Moving Forward!

Although there is now no differentiation between these lines, now that diffusion has been cast aside, all have been amalgamated under one household brand name: Burberry.  However, thankfully the exquisite and unique reflections, as expounded in ‘Prorsum’, are still identifiable today as evidenced in Burberry’s Fall/Winter 2021 collection as orchestrated by the brand’s Creative Director Riccardo Tisci.

Quality Counts

The luxury and comfort of pure natural fabrics is part of the reason why Burberry retains its corner of the luxury market, in keeping its promise of maintaining quality combined with functionality, a loyal clientele is guaranteed.

Burberry label

As you might expect, the long-established Burberry Gabardine, a distinct, robust, utilitarian fabric, which is characteristically associated with the brand’s classic trench coat, is the principal material that has graced every collection since its establishment of the company.  Invented in 1879 by the young entrepreneur Thomas Burberry, who first produced his all-weather outdoor attire in this utilitarian fabric, the Gabardine trench is now synonymous with British branding and culture, a classic style that is often copied but rarely equaled.  

A Company With a Conscience

Burberry’s reputation for philanthropy in the form of financial assistance and support to various charities betrays the company’s core values; dignity, honor, and integrity are fundamental qualities of this brand’s ideology.  

Added to this is the company’s ethical approach to sourcing materials such as leather, furs, cotton, cashmere, and wool which is evidence of its commitment to its reputation for integrity as well as serving modern consumer sensibilities.  

When you buy from this brand you can be assured that the processes involved in creating your purchase adhere to the highest moral and ethical standards which is a quality that is likely to ensure future longevity of the brand, as we all become more and more conscious of our relationship with resources and the planet.  

Personal experience has revealed that the Burberry product goes on forever and if well maintained and respected can be handed on to others, in the unlikely event that you tire of an item.  In fact, I have children’s clothes from Burberry that are still doing the rounds after 17 years, they have been shared between friends, are constantly worn and washed, and yet still like new. 

The Legacy Endures

Consumer expectations have not been disappointed by consecutive Burberry Creative Directors and consequently, loyalty has been retained over the years.  Joining the ‘steadfast’ is a brand new band of followers, who in discovering the subtlety of the 2021 collection, has found a brand to voice their identity and reflect the true image of their inner consciousness to the world.  

When you buy Burberry, you don’t just buy a product, albeit the most delicious item to enhance your form, you also reflect the values of a company with a history, morality, and worthiness which are sadly all too often absent in big business.  To be a Burberry customer is not only to demonstrate your keen sense of style and appreciation of quality but also to show you recognize and appreciate a system of values and qualities that never tire or age.  

If you enjoyed this, don’t miss: ‘Do Clothes Make You Happy?’ (Learn how to lift your mood with style!)

Sharon Cunningham

I enrolled in The Grafton Academy of Fashion and Design and studied there for six years before being taken on by a German fashion house with whom I worked for nine years, eventually leaving to return to university to complete my MA.

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