An open letter to the powers that be at Burberry:
I make mistakes, we all make mistakes. Some mistakes are amendable and inconsequential, others are not. Burberry recently decided to make a move more into the latter category. Burberry, in all of its British grandeur and tradition (ie its trench coats) has decided to deliver a slap in the face to another great British tradition, that of bespoke tailoring. Recently Burberry launched what it calls Burberry Bespoke which is a great idea, but the name MUST change.
What Burberry Bespoke offers customizable Burberry trench coats. The production and quality are the same as the off the rack ones that people have been purchasing for years. No wait, decades. No wait, nearly a century. Customers can choose from different cuts, colors, linings, belts, epaulets, cuffs and even adorn their coats with studs and other aesthetically offensive items (but hey, if you want to spend $2,000 to ruin something beautiful go ahead). The number of combinations must number in the thousands, if not hundreds of thousands. Fulfilling some of the more unique tastes out there. But you see, this is type of offering should be classified as made to measure, NOT bespoke. Burberry has even created Art Of The Trench, which is to chronicle people wearing regular and Burberry Bespoke trench coats.
Bespoke clothing is part art and part science. It is something great and it is something beautiful. It is something that has been practiced since before the name Thomas Burberry was made known. Legendary houses like Henry Poole, Anderson & Sheppard and Cifonelli should come to mind here. In short, bespoke clothing is something that is patterned and cut for a single individual. Tailors take measurements from an individual and make a unique and individual pattern resulting in an entirely unique garment for the individual. Every aspect of the garment can be altered to fit the desires of the customer. To claim anything less than this as ‘bespoke’ is an offense. It is an offense on the individuals who practice the craft of bespoke suit making, it is an offense on a great English tradition and it is an offense to knowledgeable consumers like myself. Burberry is diluting the essence of something great and for that it must be made aware. I for one will not purchase anything made by Burberry until this offense is remedied. If you feel as I do, I ask that you do the same. If you are buying a trench coat, may I recommend you look into Aquascutum. For some things are a matter of principle…
Justin L Jeffers