Private White on Parade
Attention Private White VC
Private White VC is a family-sized and family-owned men's clothing business "inspired by family heritage and born out of a devotion to British manufacturing". Their factory, which opened at the turn of the 20th century, remains in the heart of Manchester. Having changed ownership and name over the years, but always having a reputation for manufacturing high-quality garments, the company is now run by Michael Stoll and James Eden - Private White's great-grandson.
The original Private White returned from World War 1 a hero who was awarded the Victoria Cross. He started work at the factory as a cutter, but later became the owner. The company has remained in the 'rag trade' ever since.
Their factory has a dedicated staff of 80 who make clothes for their own label as well as for other prestigious brands, such as Purdey and Holland and Holland. It has also manufactured for Aquascutum, Burberry and Nigel Cabourn.
James Eden is famously hands-on. He's at the Manchester factory during the week and working in Private White's London shops at the weekend getting feedback from customers. At the vanguard of the new appreciation of local manufacturing in this country, he encourages young people eager to learn the trade to contact them about apprenticeships.
The brand is, of course, big in Japan where they have a distribution partner specialising in heritage British labels.
Nick Ashley, son of the famous British interiors and clothing designer Laura Ashley, is the in-house designer. At his disposal is the company's mouth-watering archive of a hundred years of British men's clothing design. With 5000 pieces, it's possibly the biggest of its kind in the UK.
You can see the influence of this archive in the look of the coat and guernsey sweater below and materials used.
The Insulated SB4 - Cinnamon Ventile raincoat uses Ventile - that silent, weatherproof fabric - on the outer. The coat has been worked to keep stitch detail to a minimum.
Everyone needs a Guernsey sweater. Private White's Guernsey Sweater – Tobacco is in lambswool, which has the distinctive tightly-knit fibres of this type of fishing sweater that was commonly used by the British Royal Navy for its insulating and water-repelling properties.
They also do a blue version with the traditional 'boat' neckline.
Private White V.C
55 Lambs Conduit St Bloomsbury
London W1N 3NB
Private White V.C
57 Ledbury Road
London W11 2AA