How a historic clothing manufacturer has been part of our redevelopment story
The history of Private White V.C., a premier British clothing brand, is an interesting one. Its factory was where a certain Jack White, the recipient of the Victoria Cross, served an apprenticeship after the First World War. Jack later became the factory’s owner and, although he sold it in 1949, it was acquired by his great-grandchildren in 1997 – bringing the factory back into family hands and giving rise to the Private White V.C. brand named in his honour.
What has this to do with the Whitworth? Private White V.C. is not only a British brand. It is a Manchester one. And a version of its beautiful, locally-made Goodwood Worksuits are now being worn by the gallery’s visitor teams – part of Private White V.C’s support for the new Whitworth.
The Goodwood Worksuit, based on one of Jack White’s clothing staples, a cotton worksuit, was originally created for the Goodwood Revival and is worn by staff at its annual three-day British vintage motoring festival. Made from Lancashire-woven cotton, the worksuits feature double-stitched seams and are highly durable, but they are also, thanks to a special pre-washing process, incredibly soft and comfortable to wear.
Which is good, as Private White V.C. has created a special version of the worksuit for our gallery staff. Featuring a worksuit jacket and jerkin, both have been dyed a bespoke grey to match the gallery’s colour palette. The uniforms also feature the first ever Private White V.C. women’s worksuit jerkin, designed especially for us. Local, sustainable, historic and with a little bit of innovation and flair: our new Private White V.C. uniforms somehow feel very Whitworth.