Britishness: Heritage, Tradition and Authenticity

Caroline Lloyd*, Friedemann Schaber

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to Book/ReportConference Contributionpeer-review


This paper discusses, through the vehicle of case studies, how Fashion and Design brands have been instrumental in regenerating commerce in the United Kingdom (UK) regarding luxury goods, leathercraft and footwear. A particular attention is paid to the current research surrounding the ‘commodification of heritage’ exemplified by the fashion house Burberry, which demonstrates Britishness as an intangible element of cultural heritage. In-depth findings illustrated cover V&A Archives, Burberry’s celebrity endorsement and the royal appointment system. To compare the findings from this top profitable company, the centuries old footwear brands of the Northampton area in the English Midlands that have preserved the making of gentleman’s shoes, are also exemplified. It has been noted that some manufacturers have been taken over by international houses such as Hermès and Prada to essentially safeguard the craftmanship that is “Made in Britain”. Both exemplars will be related to the UK Government funded initiatives and by Walpole, British Fashion Council, Made in Britain Initiative, London Craft Fair, as well as other benevolent bodies, namely Leathersellers and Cordwainers Guilds. Live fashion events and halo projects sponsored by industry are also the focal point for certain aspects of the intangible cultural heritage industry. Policy and reports, such as The State of Fashion [1], will inform the debate. In conclusion, it is argued that the exclusive club of luxury labels with ‘intangible cultural heritage’ is at the cross-roads in retailing and frequently referenced to define notions of Britishness, which will be the focus of discussion.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFashion Communication in the Digital Age
Subtitle of host publicationFACTUM 19 Fashion Communication Conference, Ascona, Switzerland, July 21-26, 2019
EditorsNadzeya Kalbaska, Teresa Sádaba, Francesca Cominelli, Lorenzo Cantoni
Place of PublicationZurich
PublisherSpringer International
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-15436-3
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-15436-3, 978-3-030-15436-3, 978-3-030-15435-6
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jul 2019


  • Authenticity
  • Design
  • Heritage
  • Fashion
  • Promotion and Communication
  • Footwear


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