With 160 years in the making, this is a story inspired by the pioneering discoveries of our founder, reimagining key events that have shaped Burberry’s history. The CEO and designer Christopher Bailey is debuting ‘The Tale of Thomas Burberry’, a holiday film which celebrates the life of the brand’s founder Thomas Burberry directed by Asif Kapadia and starring Domhnall Gleeson, Sienna Miller, Lily James, and Dominic West.
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.
“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,” Bailey says in a release. “His spirit and his vision are still at the heart of everything we do at Burberry today.”
Shot over six days in England, with the screenplay written by Academy Award nominee Matt Charman. Sets from the film, including Thomas Burberry’s workshop, were inspired by archive materials. ‘The Tale of Thomas Burberry’ stars Sienna Miller as Thomas’s fictional first love Sara, wearing a selection of custom Burberry products.
As Gleeson as the main character he recalls: “Christopher is obviously an incredibly gifted designer, but he’s also a really good man, and I love that,” Gleeson says. “To work with him and his team and Asif and the amazing crew and cast was an honor because I got to be a part of something really creative and exciting with a team of people who are each at the top of their field. Coming together to bring the story to life was a brilliant experience, and also somehow managed to be very fun.”