Named after the owner’s grandfather Private Jack White, who worked in the same factory in 1918 after returning from World War I, Private White VC is now expanding.
Managing director James Eden bought it in 2010 as a private label manufacturer which made menswear for other fashion labels, and recreated it as an iconic must-have brand for high-end lovers of luxury menswear. The label is stocked in Selfridges and Harrods and its own store in Mayfair serves customers including actors Tom Hardy, Eddie Redmayne and Kevin Spacey.
Private White VC stepped in to purchase equipment and take on 14 skilled machinists from Salford firm Sweeney, which closed in July after a contract loss. The new employees bring the staff headcount at Private White VC to nearly 100.
Rising interest from Manchester’s menswear market recently led the company to extend to six-day opening. The process is being helped the change in the value of currency after the Brexit vote, making the brand’s clothing cheaper for foreign buyers online.
Exported to 45 countries, the clothes in the shop are designed, made and tailored on site and the vast majority of the fabrics are sourced in Northern Britain.
Says James: “The fall in the pound has made our clothes significantly cheaper. In the past month we’ve seen a huge uplift in traffic, enquiries and ultimately revenue from overseas. Some of our key markets are the US, Germany, Japan and the Scandinavian nations.
“The lion’s share of our menswear is sourced from the North of England and so we are well insulated and look forwards to continue to benefit from the effects of Brexit.”
The company believes it is the last and only British luxury fashion brand 100% manufactured in this country - from the same city centre factory on the River Irwell where it has been making clothes for over 100 years.