Burberry‘s Christmas campaigns are typically a star-studded affair, but this winter’s advert is possibly the heritage brand’s best effort yet.
As Burberry celebrates the 160th anniversary of its founding, the company felt it was the perfect time to tell the story of its founder, Thomas Burberry (born 27 August 1835). Enlisting a team of the best, including the director, Asif Kapadia, he leads a cast of actors, including Domhnall Gleeson, Sienna Miller, Dominic West and Lily James in a short film.
“This Christmas, as we celebrate our 160th anniversary we wanted to tell the story of Thomas Burberry – pioneer, inventor, innovator, and the man behind the iconic trench coat,” said Christopher Bailey, the Chief Creative and Chief Executive Officer of Burberry, “The film we have made is a brief glimpse inspired by his full and extraordinary life, which threaded its way through the history of the twentieth century in all its tumultuous highs and lows.”
The short film depicts his founding of the company in 1856, aged 21, and the invention of gabardine, an innovative waterproof fabric made of tightly woven wool and cotton – worn by soldiers in the Boer War and World War One, the company supplied about half a million to the British Army to make the Tielocken, the forerunner of the modern day trench coat.
The cast wore a mixture of custom-made pieces, replicas of styles from the brand’s Heritage Archive and designs from the current collection, including the Heritage Trench Coat and Bridle Bag.
“He was intensely gifted and very passionate about the real-world potential of what we wear and how it changes us. What he created has stood the test of time and influenced those who came after him – his work had such an impact and legacy after he was gone,” said Gleeson in a statement from Burberry.
And so, the cinematic trailer reimagined the events and tumultuous history that shaped the creation of Burberry such as Ernest Shackleton’s Antarctic expedition and World War One.