Stories / October 2019

James Eden of Private White V.C. on What it Takes to Run a Truly British Brand

10 years since its launch, Private White V.C. is staking its claim as one of the foremost British brands. We sat down with CEO James Eden to discover what sets it apart.

Fans of the The Rake will undoubtedly be familiar with Private White V.C. and their unbeatable outerwear. The brand is one that does everything in an unashamedly British fashion and doesn’t cut a single corner in their pursuit of perfection. 

We spent the day with CEO James Eden looking around the Manchester factory and discovered the fanatical energy it takes to run a company that not only exists, but thrives very much against the odds. The factory, which dates back to the 1800s, managed to survive two world wars, a catastrophic downturn in British industry in the 1970s and harsh demand from the fashion world to globalise. It is now home to some of the last highly skilled cutters and craftspeople in Manchester. 

But just what is it that sets Private White V.C. apart from all of the competition who fell to the cutting room floor over the years? It could be that they have been making exceptional clothes for some of the biggest names in fashion for decades and before then were producing the toughest outerwear possible for military forces - and they have the deep archives to prove it. Or it could be that now, as they near 10 years of being their own label, they have been able to carve out an identity in the men’s market thanks to their unwavering passion for quality and refusal to bow to trends and fads. 

While they have recently started to make appearances at fashion weeks, Private White V.C. are not there to show how creative or flamboyant they are, but instead to demonstrate the same message that Eden has been repeating for nearly a decade now - that good, simple clothes made well never go out of style. 

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Russell Sheldrake