Bundle up in Burberry

Fast Lane

British retailer opens new shop in Prague

That iconic check pattern of black, white, tan and red will be spotted a little more around Prague this fall. The reason? The opening of a new Burberry store on Paříška Street last March. It quietly snuck into the fashionable street, and is happily offering the oh-so-British coats, hats, sweaters and accessories.

Probably not, however Burberry was perhaps celebrating their 151st anniversary with the arrival of our local shop. Thomas Burberry, an enterprising 21-year-old draper’s apprentice opened his first shop in Basingstoke, England in 1856. He’s what could be considered a fashion reformer – dedicated to improving the functionality of his designs. Originally targeted for the outdoorsy types, Burberry’s signature items were known for their resistance to rain, wind and cold. From head to toe, Sir Ernest Sheckleton wore Burberry on his expedition across Antarctica. All-weather coats were worn by Allied forces during World War I. These so-called “trench coats” became popular in peace time thanks to cameo appearances on such movie stars as Humphrey Bogart and Audrey Hepburn. Surprisingly, the checked pattern that instantly identifies a Burberry item was largely ignored for about 40 years. It wasn’t until 1964 when the British Olympic women’s team revealed the lining of their Burberry trench coats while they were casually slung over their arms. Almost overnight, the simple pattern became the status symbol we still consider it today.

Heavy on the accessories, the Prague location nevertheless offers a small selection of many of its products. Both the Burberry London men’s and women’s outerwear collections are offered, perfect for our advancing winter season. Shoes are also heavily featured as well as a large selection of bags, purses and wallets. Don’t know if Mr. Burberry would be pleased with this step outside his focused outwear items; but the brand is constantly expanding. Check out their eyewear, fragrance and watches, too.