The Burberry fashion house was founded in 1856, and it owes everything it is today to Thomas Burberry and one original design intended to keep the rain out.
Flashback to 1879: young former draper's assistant Thomas Burberry invented a special type of fabric for a comfortable and rain-resistant coat. The fruit of his labours was gabardine, a tough, tightly-woven and water-resistant fabric.
The success of Burberry's water-resistant fabric was phenonemal. Orders flooded in, the first major client being the British Army. Using his own designs for officers' coats made 13 years beforehand for the War Office, Burberry added shoulder straps and metal rings to his gabardine coat, and the trench coat was born.