WITH its distinct beige check, Burberry was once sneered at by snobbish fashionistas as the epitome “chav chic”. It became the uniform of the football terrace and the council estate - more likely to see you barred from a fashion show than ushered to the front row.

But now sported by stars from Rihanna to Rita Ora - who rocked up to BBC Radio 1’s Teen Awards in a shorts, shirt and cap combo in the famous check - there's no doubt Burberry is back.

A-listers from hip hop artist Stormzy to super model Kate Moss are also onboard, with the fashion press fawning over last month's re-release of the classic check by Gosha Rubchinskiy in a new collaboration.

While a cap to go with your trackie used to be £45 – and a rip off at the Barras in Glasgow considerably cheaper – this time the price tags are set to keep out the working class. Classic check cashmere scarves start at £350 with oversized versions available for £750 and a vintage check jacket just shy of £1000.

Burberry was founded in 1856 by 21-year-old Thomas Burberry, a former draper's apprentice. It went on to be worn in the trenches and later by Hollywood's most glamorous stars from Humphrey Bogart to Audrey Hepburn. However, in the early 2000s it was adopted by football hooligans and soap stars like Daniella Westbrook who not only dressed herself and baby daughter in head-to-toe checks but had a buggy to match. Bang went the Burberry bubble.

Burberry distanced itself from the "toxic" design and withdrew it from collections. Now, however, big brains in the fashion world claim the label is trading on the very culture it claimed to despise.

The rise of the 'Nu Lad' trend has put “football terrace fashion” back in vogue, with high end “edgy” brands like French label Vetaments driving the look, with hoodies and working men's jackets.

Mairi Mackenzie, a fashion historian at Glasgow School of Art, said Burberry’s re-launch of the classic check felt “exploitative”.

“Terrace fashion is the most important movement in terms of men's fashion since it reared its head in the 70s," she said, "but with a label like Burberry it's about selling posh fashion people that look. It's taking working class culture and using it in high culture. It's a bit distasteful.

“Vetaments took a lot of labels that we have every day uses for and colonised them. They are charging an absolute fortune for them. It feels hollow and a bit exploitative. A lot of designers do it. It does stick in the throat."

Writer Laura Waddell, a contributor to Know Your Place: Essays on the Working Class recognises the growing trend. In an essay called The Diet of Disadvantage she writes about selling cheap hair scrunchies in football colours as a 14-year-old old, which are today a "scheme style" adopted by middle class art students.

She said: "I don't find working class clothes with a high class price tag offensive so much as alienating. Concocting some working class fashion fantasy to frolic in, shows how distanced fashion and other arts and media industries can be."

Broadcaster Stuart Cosgrove, who writes about music and youth culture, claimed there was a long history of appropriation of fashion from one class, and community.

He said: "Skinheads took the industrial look of working men – boots, work-wear – and merged it with toff clothes, especially the gent's Crombie coat. It was a mash up of different 'class' styles.

"My personal favourite is the Kangol hat, popularised by hip-hop stars like LL Cool J. The Kangol was previously associated by upper-class military men and was famously worn by Field Marshall Montgomery."