James Eden, Founder and CEO of menswear staple Private White V.C. tells us about honouring is remarkable family legacy and celebrating the best of British Manufacture.
Manchester-based menswear brand Private White V.C. has been an understated style staple of discerning gentlemen since its launch in 2013. But, behind the scenes, founder James Eden is also using his unshakeable determination and energy to honour a family legacy while flying the flag for sustainable British craftsmanship.
Former investment banker Eden packed up his lucrative life in the City in 2012 in favour of trying his hand at running the clothing manufacture business his great-grandfather, Victoria Cross-recipient Jack White, had owned in the 1940s.
Soon seeing a market for an independent brand that championed the fine materials and high-quality craftsmanship the factory’s artisans had at their fingertips, Eden launched Private White V.C. with a uniquely local ethos. In fact, 90% of products are made in the brand’s Salford factory, with the remaining products coming from a small number of partner factories.
“We get our shoes from Northampton and knitwear from Scotland,” Eden tells Tempus. “What we’re brilliant at, what we’re known for, is the products we make ourselves. I think we make some of the best products in the world – but, I mean, I would say that.”
Since then, its classic-contemporary style (which Eden describes as “techno-retro”) has gone from strength to strength, honouring the traditions of “Cottonopolis”, as Manchester was once known, while leading the charge in responsible fashion through the use of recycled fabrics and other innovative techniques. Here, Eden shares what it takes to go head-to-head with fast fashion and why he remains inspired by the original Private White.