Burberry is a British institution unlike any other. It’s synonymous with British elegance and has connections with everything from celebrities and influencers to royalty.
The brand has gone from humble beginnings in the mid-1950s to an international powerhouse. Burberry is the victim of counterfeit bags and products like any luxury fashion house.
If you are not sure whether a Burberry bag is real or fake, it is best to err on the side of caution and avoid purchasing it. You can also take the bag to a trusted retailer or appraiser for authentication.
The best way to ensure that you are getting an authentic Burberry bag is to buy it from a reputable retailer, such as a Burberry store or an authorized dealer (Credit: John Wreford / Shutterstock)
If you’re considering buying a Burberry bag pre-loved, you want to know the signs to look out for to tell an authentic Burberry from a fake. Read on to find out more about these legendary bags and how to spot a counterfeit.
The History and Revival of Burberry
Burberry was established by Thomas Burberry in 1856 when he was just 21 years old. The company’s mission was to make clothing to protect people against the unpredictable British weather.
In 1879, Thomas Burberry invented the gabardine, a waterproof fabric that revolutionized rainwear.
Kate Moss advertisement in Burberry’s store in Knightsbridge, London (Credit: Daniel Deme / WENN)
After a public competition, the brand’s distinctive equestrian knight logo came to fruition in 1901.
The predecessor to the iconic trench coat – the Tielocken coat – was launched in 1912, with the trench following a few years later. It was designed as a functional jacket to be worn by soldiers during the First World War.
Burberry’s trademarked check – which appears on most of their bags – first appeared in the 1920s. Throughout the early 1990s, Burberry became synonymous with sporting attire before being granted a royal warrant in 1955 by HM Queen Elizabeth II.
This event marked the start of a long-term relationship between the British Royal Family and Burberry. Every family member has been spotted wearing their clothing, particularly their infamous coats and trenches.
Danielle Staub sports a Burberry umbrella, while Paloma Faith complements her Burberry raincoat with striking neon orange hair and a burgundy handbag (Credit: TNYF / Lia Toby / WENN)
In 1990, Burberry received a royal warrant as an outfitter from HRH the Prince of Wales.
In 1999, the brand rebranded nearly a decade later, transitioning from “Burberry’s” to “Burberry.” This transformation also introduced a new logo crafted by the Art Director at the time, Fabien Baron.
Other landmark events include the 2010 live streaming of a Burberry fashion show, the first luxury brand to do so. It was also the first luxury brand to join the ethical trading initiative.
In 2011, Burberry launched its first Tweetwalk by streaming its Spring/Summer 2021 show on Twitter. By 2014, Burberry had 500 stores across the world.
Horseferry House Burberry is the global headquarters and flagship store of the British luxury fashion brand Burberry
In recognition of its efforts in ethics and sustainability, Burberry was acknowledged as the industry leader in the ‘Textiles, Apparel and Luxury Goods’ sector by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.
In 2018, they celebrated diversity by launching their rainbow vintage check-in partnership with three LGBT+ youth charities.
Riccardo Tisci, who exited Burberry in 2022 after five years as chief creative officer, moved the brand towards a more contemporary and streamlined aesthetic.
In 2018, Burberry introduced a new logo and monogram as part of a broader brand revamp under its then-new Chief Creative Officer, Riccardo Tisci.
The “TB” monogram is a nod to Burberry’s founder, Thomas Burberry. Utilizing the founder’s initials, the brand aimed to link its future with its storied past, thus offering a sense of heritage while modernizing its visual identity.
The equestrian knight logo was retired in 2018, and the check print is still used, but it is not as prominent as it used to be.
Burberry changed its logo to TB in 2018 as part of a new brand identity campaign led by then-creative director Riccardo Tisci
Riccardo Tisci wanted to create a more modern and minimalist brand still rooted in its British heritage. The new logo is a simple sans-serif typeface inspired by the Burberry archives.
The TB monogram is a more playful take on the brand’s initials and is often used in conjunction with the new logo.
Where are Burberry bags made?
Burberry has two manufacturing sites in the UK: the Castleford Mill and the Keighley Mill. Here, the check lining fabrics, the Heritage trench coat, and some materials for accessories, such as shoes and bags, are created.
Although Burberry prides itself on being a British brand, its products are made worldwide.
Most of the Burberry bags you’ll find on the market now carry a ‘made in Italy’ stamp on the metal plaque of the leather tag. The brand owns a factory in Scandicci, near Florence, Italy.
The label or metal plaque on an authentic Burberry bag should be made of high-quality materials and should be clearly stamped with the Burberry logo
While most bags are made in Italy, some Burberry bags are made in China. Burberry manufactures its products in various countries, including Italy, England, and China. A Burberry bag’s specific country of origin will vary depending on the model and style.
While ‘made in China’ is usually an automatic red flag, it’s more complicated with Burberry. It’s best to try and work out the year of origin for your Burberry bag – or even a ballpark estimate.
The best way to authenticate the bag using the label is to look at the font used for the word ‘Burberry.’ The left side of the U and Y should be slightly more comprehensive, and the three Rs should have small tails.
The changing countries of origin and unusual practice of making bags in China means you can’t overly rely on a ‘made in’ stamp to authenticate your bag. Take it with a pinch of salt, but don’t rely on it to make or break the authenticity of your Burberry bag.
It’s also worth remembering that older Burberry bags – before 1999 – will carry the name ‘Burberry’s’ and not ‘Burberry’. The same is true of other accessories you might be considering buying pre-loved, including scarves.
Examine the Burberry Check Patterns
If you’re looking to buy a Burberry bag pre-loved, you want to pay extra attention to bags made in the fashion house’s signature check prints. Like any fashion brand, their signature prints appear on the counterfeit market.
Authentic Burberry bags feature an iconic check pattern, either on the lining or exterior, that is evenly spaced and always sharp, never blurry or faded
The two prints to look out for are the Classic Check and the Nova Check. The Classic Check is on a tan background with black, white, and red stripes that go both horizontally and vertically.
The equestrian knight symbol should always sit where the red lines meet. If there’s any deviation in placement, it means the bag is counterfeit.
The Burberry check pattern, often referred to as the “Burberry check,” is one of the most recognized and iconic motifs in the fashion world (Credit: Yu_Photo / Shutterstock)
On the Nova Check, the main difference from the Classic Check is that there is no faded equestrian knight.
The print is more contemporary and brighter, with yellow undertones. The red lines carry a pinkish undertone compared to the Classic Check.
Examine the Burberry Stitching
If you can see the bag in person, the stitching always indicates whether a Burberry bag is genuine. You can sometimes ask online sellers to provide close-up photos of the stitching, but it’s easier to examine in person.
The stitching on an authentic Burberry bag should be straight and even, with no loose or frayed threads
Burberry stitching will always be neat and even, working in a straight line or curve that matches the shape of the bag.
You shouldn’t see any loose threads or mismatched needlework. Although it doesn’t produce its bags inside the UK, Burberry is known for its quality and craftsmanship.
Do Burberry bags have serial numbers?
Burberry does not use serial numbers in the same way that some other luxury brands, like Chanel or Louis Vuitton, do. However, Burberry items might have labels, tags, or other markers indicating authenticity and origin.
It’s crucial to be cautious of counterfeit items, as fake manufacturers sometimes include phony serial numbers or authenticity indicators to make replicas seem genuine.
Are Burberry bags good quality?
Yes, Burberry bags are generally considered to be good quality. They are made with high-quality materials and craftsmanship. Burberry offers a 2-year warranty on all of its bags against manufacturing defects.
Burberry bags come with a dust bag. The dust bag should be of high quality, typically tan-colored, with the “Burberry – London” logo on it.
How much do Burberry bags cost?
The cost of buying a new Burberry bag versus buying it pre-loved is pretty significant. The brand doesn’t maintain its value the same way ‘big four’ brands like Hermes, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Dior do.
Authentic Burberry bags feature high-quality, weighty hardware with clear logos on zippers, buttons, and buckles, devoid of imperfections
The deciding factor in the price will usually be the style and era the bag is from. The price will drop for older bags, particularly those from the 90s and early 2000s.
You’ll naturally pay a higher price tag for current bags that are readily available as they’ll be a more recent bag, especially if it’s a trending silhouette.
It’s worth remembering that Burberry is a British brand. You can expect to pay a premium to purchase any of their items outside the UK. Whether buying a pre-loved or new bag, purchasing from the UK is usually more affordable.
If a Burberry bag deal seems too good to be true, it likely is, as authentic Burberry bags typically come with high price tags
The current Burberry handbag range includes bags across a broad price spectrum. The most affordable bag is a compact wallet in Burberry Check and topstitched leather that you can buy for $1,050.
At the top of the price spectrum is the extra-large Chess shoulder bag you can buy for $4,050. Burberry is in a more attainable price bracket than other luxury fashion brands.