Director Asif Kapadia leads a cast of actors including Domhnall Gleeson, Sienna Miller, Dominic West and Lily James in a short film telling the story of Burberry founder Thomas Burberry
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. 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.
Telling the story of Thomas Burberry, born 27 August 1835, 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.
One of the explorers who also used the material was Ernest Shackleton, who led the ill-fated 1914 expedition to cross Antarctica, and is played in the short film by Dominic West. Earl Kitchener, who was the subject of the famous “Britons, Kitchener wants you!” also wore Burberry’s famous waterproofs.
Later in 1937, Burberry sponsored a record-breaking return flight from Croydon to Cape Town, piloted by Betty Kirby-Green and A.E. Clouston, who both wore Burberry and flew a de Havilland DH.88 Comet Racer, nicknamed the Burberry racer.