Manchester by the V.C.

With every garment handcrafted in the last remaining clothing factory in the world’s first industrial city, Private White V.C.’s proud history is shaping the label’s future.

Private White V.C.’s founder and C.E.O., James Eden

Over the past few decades, Manchester’s fame has most commonly been associated with the beautiful game, in which the town’s two leading football clubs — United and City — have dominated. (Since the Premier League’s inception, in 1992, they have won a combined total of 17 titles.) You’d have to travel significantly further back in time, to the 19th century, to discover the more significant role the city has played in modern history.

The extraordinary growth of the United Kingdom’s cotton industry in the 1800s resulted in people turning to Manchester as a place of opportunity, and the resulting revolution secured the town’s position as the world’s first — and greatest — industrial city. ‘Cottonopolis’, as it was often referred to, changed almost everything for the western world, enabling one of the first periods of sustained economic growth in the U.K. Individuals and families began to prosper as technological advancements and a demand for cotton goods provided jobs and income, which in turn caused a population boom.

It was in 1853 that Cottenham House, a grand redbrick factory on the banks of the River Irwell in Salford, rose to prominence as one of the leading manufacturers of textiles. Today it is the last remaining clothing factory in Manchester still in operation, and home to one of the finest names in menswear: Private White V.C.

Video by Marcus Ebanks

Published

February 2021

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