I was invited to attend the launch of the rather fabulous luxury brand Private White V.C. in Manchester recently.
The evening started off in style as we were transported from Manchester City Centre to the factory on a vintage double decker bus!
I must say I was very, very impressed with the shop floor and factory – yes the clothes are actually made on site! It was like going back in time, the place is full to the brim with original 1950’s furniture and memorabilia. Everything was beautifully displayed with love and care. There was a strong sense of family and togetherness and you could tell that everybody involved with Private White V.C. was passionate about their job. Visitors are encouraged to tour the building and see the garments being made in the very same building.
So, what about the clothes? Well they are of the highest quality! When you purchase a piece of clothing from Private White V.C. it will last you a lifetime! The styles are timeless. All clothing is expertly constructed by hand in the Private White V.C. Factory, Manchester, where garments are designed and developed using only the finest regionally sourced fabrics, trims and materials.
The range is mostly for men, but they are starting to introduce clothing for women now and it is just beautiful. This twin track jacket trimmed with soft brown lamb nappa leather is simply stunning.
The style is given fantastic shape and security with a belted waist, finished with a copper blanket clip and adjustable stud fastening.
Made from locally-sourced waxed cotton and lined in fine wool, this piece is constructed using the highest quality materials and craftsmanship. A truly stunning piece of design and a garment which effortlessly lasts the test of time in both durability and style.
Delicious refreshments were provided by Artisan, including included raspberry and vanilla Martinis, mini ham hock terrines and mini rhubarb and custard pudding shots. Plus we were treated to live music from Josh Goddard.
And what about the story behind Private White V.C? Well Private Jack White was a military hero and founding father of the factory. During World War 1, he joined the Royal Lancaster Regiment at 18 and he was awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious honour which can be bestowed on British and Commonwealth forces, for his courageous actions. After the war he returned to Manchester and, following his apprenticeship at the factory, he rose through the ranks to become manager and then owner. His Yorkshire influences led the company to specialise in woollen garments, rather than just the traditional Lancashire cotton raincoats and mackintoshes.
Due to ailing health, following the 2nd World War, Jack was forced to take a back seat in the factory and eventually passed away aged 52. Jack White’s family acquired the factory in 1997, more than 60 years after his death and have been championing the virtues of the region’s garment making industry ever since.
In homage to Jack White, many of the items are based on classic military garments and wartime pieces with a modern twist. Materials are as locally sourced as possible with local mills supplying the cloth.
So, if you fancy investing in a piece of history, I suggest you go and take a look around Private White V.C., drink in the atmosphere and make a purchase! It will definitely make you proud to be British and fly the flag for Manchester talent!
Of course, you can order online. There is free UK delivery on all orders and you can receive 10% off your first order by signing up to their newsletter.
Oh, did I mention my fantastic goody bag?
A gorgeous blue cotton scarf from Private White V.C., obviously made in Manchester – there was an opportunity to have this personally monogrammed on the night but I completely forgot about this till I got home duh!
Some bright yellow, fine, English made socks (just my colour!) from Pantherella
Some beautiful gold, frankincense and myrrh organic handmade soap (perfect timing for Christmas) from Quintessentially English
Some lovely exfoliator, made in England from Flint + Flint – can’t wait to try this!
All Photographs courtesy of Rachel Jones