Burberry checks out of baseball caps to deter hooligan fans

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The Independent Online

For generations Burberry has been the marque of choice for gentlemen about town and ladies who lunch. But the popularity of the iconic check among less desirable patrons appears to have reached a head, and the designer label company has halted production of its distinctive baseball-cap headgear.

For generations Burberry has been the marque of choice for gentlemen about town and ladies who lunch. But the popularity of the iconic check among less desirable patrons appears to have reached a head, and the designer label company has halted production of its distinctive baseball-cap headgear.

The firm is understood to have decided to stop production of the hats a few months ago during a rash of publicity over Burberry-clad hooligans being barred from pubs, clubs and bars.

The chequered headgear, once the preserve of the fashion elite, is now the uniform of choice for shell-suited wearing troublemakers.

Although many of the Burberry-style goods are believed to be counterfeit, venues in Scotland and England have imposed dress-code bans on anybody wearing the label as the image has become increasingly associated with antisocial behaviour.

A spokeswoman for Burberry declined to comment yesterday on reports that thousands of the £50 caps have already been cleared from shop shelves and that the company had decided to stop manufacturing them.

Burberry was founded in 1856 by 21-year-old Thomas Burberry, a draper's apprentice in Basingstoke, Hampshire, who opened his own store to sell his creation of a unique untearable weather-proofed fabric, known as gabardine.

By 1914 and the outbreak of the First World War the Burberry raincoat was standard kit for British Army officers and the distinctive check used to line the inside of their garments was registered as a trademark in 1924.

In the 1960s the check became a fashion statement in its own right when it was used on the outside of coats, luggage and umbrellas.

In recent years the firm's value has risen from £200m to more than £2bn and it has stores in 17 countries.

In 1997 Burberry launched the cap which helped to re-brand the company's former ageing image into something hip.

After celebrities such as Naomi Campbell and Victoria Beckham were photographed displaying the brand, ordinary customers began to buy the caps in their thousands.

When the former EastEnders actress Daniella Westbrook, was pictured in a Burberry skirt and jacket pushing her baby in a Burberry-clad buggie, many fashion experts predicted it was becoming too "common".

The brand was picked up by popular culture to be worn stylishly by celebrities, over-worn by ordinary punters and worn-out by yobs and football hooligans.

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