It's the coat of kings; though the waterproof gabardine fabric was invented by Thomas Burberry, it was King Edward VII, known for demanding, "Bring me my Burberry," who gave it its name. After it emerged from the trenches, indelibly linked to adventure and romance, it began attracting a new wearer: the author, the statesman, the private eye. It's the coat that Dustin Hoffman bought to celebrate a promotion in "Kramer vs. Kramer" (and found his hand shaking as he wrote the check).
"Almost everyone of some note owns a Burberry," trenchantly observed a spokesman for the New York Burberry store.
Just ask Leonard Elkins, general manager of the Philadelphia Burberry store, who could be found recently in his tiny office surrounded by racks and racks of time-worn Burberrys: tweeds, gabardines and glen plaids, raincoats and topcoats and polo coats, coats whose every stain, rip and scorch told a tale.