The Business On... Angela Ahrendts, Chief executive, Burberry

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The Independent Online

Where's the check?

Burberry staff are allowed out without being plastered in the famous pattern, you know. Anyway, since Ms Ahrendts joined Burberry four years ago, she has moved the brand decidedly upmarket. The check that was once synonymous with Burberry (and what unkinder analysts kept referring to as its chavvy customer base) is used with more subtlety these days.

But hasn't Ms Ahrendts just had a bumper payday?

Far be it from me to wonder if you're something of a chav yourself, but perhaps you meant cheque? In which case, yes indeed, Ms Ahrendts has been well rewarded for Burberry's recent successes. The company's latest annual report reveals she took home a little over £6m last year.

Goodness, well at least she can afford to look the part

Well, Burberry does expect her to pay for its clobber. Allowances of £387,000 last year, including money for clothes, presumably helped. But with a pay packet of £910,000, a bonus of £1.8m and share option gains of £2.8m, Ms Ahrendts wouldn't be reduced to dressing in Poundland without the benefit.

Looking good, then?

Burberry appears to be in rude health. Profits last year were a record £215m, the company joined the FTSE 100 Index and, perhaps most importantly of all, Burberry's clothes are winning rave reviews from the critics again. Not bad for a business going downhill prior to Ms Ahrendts' arrival, its brand so devalued that two pubs in Leicester even banned anyone wearing Burberry gear from entering the premises.

The magic touch?

Well, Ms Ahrendts has done this trick before, previously transforming the fortunes of the US brand Liz Claiborne. But it's hard work that has got the job done. The Burberry boss is famous for never having had a day off in her 25-year career. And if you're referring to Emma Watson, the Harry Potter actress Burberry signed up so astutely to model its ranges, you do realise that Hogwarts was a work of fiction?