Beginning this week, Washington's spies, foreign correspondents and other devotees of the trench coat look will have a new outfitting place.
Burberrys of London, the original purveyor of that look, opens its sixth U.S. store Wednesday at M Street and Connecticut Avenue.
Burberrys has been making trench coats since 1914, when Thomas Burberry invented gabardine, a tightly woven fabric, and designed the first trench coat for use by British officers in World War I. Since then, this functional clothing has become a fashion trademark.
Burberrys initiated its U.S. operations six years ago with a store in New York. It now supplies its U.S. stores from a distribution and assembly center in New Jersey.
Barry Goldsmith, a spokesman for Burberrys, says the firm's entry into the retail sales market in this country will not affect sales of its coats by other department stores. The greater exposure from opening its own stores in the U.S., he said, has "increased business with other wholesale accounts."
Burberrys sells other types of clothing for men and women, including blazers, suits, sweaters and shirts. But the trenchcoats, which range in price from $290 to $675, are still its best sellers.