Legendary Burberry creative director Christopher Bailey is set to leave the following 17 years with the company. The Spring/Summer 2018 collection this February operates as his final contribution. But for all the soul-searching that will result from Bailey’s departure, it also marks an opportunity to look back at Burberry’s hallowed history and examine the fascinating journey the brand has taken over the years. The buttoned-up British brand has always been deeply tied to class; its fortunes have ebbed and flowed largely based on how UK’s various social strata have viewed it. The vision of the brand in popular culture is inextricably connected to the iconic Burberry check, one of the most recognizable patterns in the world. This history of the Burberry check tells a story about class, Britain and many interpretations of “luxury.”

Follow Brenden on twitter here.