From The Archive
Private White V.C.
Craftsmanship, heritage and lasting style: this Manchester brand is perfect for those who love British outerwear but don’t want to look exactly like everybody else
The great-grandson of the original Private Jack White, Mr James Eden, is not one to shy away from pinning his colours to the mast. “We take pride in the fact that we use only regionally sourced British fabrics, British trims, British linings, in what is the premier British outerwear factory,” he says. The significance of Manchester-based outerwear specialist Private White V.C.’s distinction as one of a small number of outfitters who can lay claim to a truly British pedigree is not lost on its owner; indeed, if the revival of British-made outerwear has demonstrated one thing, it is the importance of a brand’s heritage, plus, of course, generations of expertise, traditional craftsmanship, and, above all, an enduring reputation for quality.
For Mr Eden, however, bearing the tag Made in Britain means more than paying lip service to the past. The brand may be steeped in history – Private Jack White was a WWI hero and Victoria Cross recipient – but Private White V.C. is, after all, a clothing brand.
Fly-fronted raincoats in Ventile and shooting jackets in tweed are evidence of Private White V.C.’s interest in local fabrics, and field jackets in waxed cotton give a subtle nod to its military heritage. Elsewhere, leather-trimmed cuffs on padded wool overcoats add a modern refinement to classic styles, while the detachable belts on coats and jackets suggest that lead designer Mr Nick Ashley has brought his previous experience as menswear designer at Dunhill and his passion for motorcycling to bear. The construction quality is admirable – this is serious outerwear, made, as Mr Eden suggests, “to clothe you, protect you, and shield you from the elements”.
Watch the video above to hear Mr Eden on the philosophy of the brand, the importance of a good jacket, and the stages involved in creating a Private White V.C. garment.