1908 - Hector Powe and the “HP CuT”

Hector Powe Morning Coat. Early 20th Century. F Whitby Cox

01 —

Having learnt his trade from his father, the 19th Century tailor Wilton Powe, Hector launched his own firm in 1908 in Bishopsgate in the City of London. Development of the business was halted by the First World War, as Hector served in the Army.

Early Hector Powe catalogue sketch by the fashion artist, F. Whitby Cox

Hector Powe Dinner Jacket. Early 20th Century. F Whitby Cox

02 —

Hector felt that men’s fashion was ripe for change after the War. Men, and more importantly, their wives and girlfriends, had become accustomed to the athletic, more masculine lines of service uniform. They did not want to return to the narrow, cramping style of the pre-1914 era.

F. Whitby Cox sketch of a Hector Powe double-breasted dinner jacket.

Hector Powe Evening Tailcoat. Early 20th Century. F Whitby Cox

03 —

So Hector endeavoured to provide gentlemen with a more stylish silhouette. This was known as the HP Cut, a pioneering form of ‘New Tailoring'.

F. Whitby Cox sketch of a Hector Powe evening tailcoat

1930s - The West End Touch

Hector Powe 1936 Single Breasted Lounge Suit Advertisement

04 —

Hector was then joined by his two younger brothers, Lungley and Leslie, which helped give the business a distinctly family feel at their new Regent Street headquarters.

Single Breasted Lounge Suit advertisement – 1936

Hector Powe 1934 Advertising Campaign, The Tatler Magazine

05 —

Obsessed with the notion of elegance, the three Powe brothers successfully captured that most enigmatic characteristic of London luxury, “the West End touch”.

Hector Powe A/W 1934 advertising campaign in Tatler

Hector Powe and the Second World War

Hector Powe WWII Officers Uniform Advertisement 1939 in Illustrated London News

06 —

As Hector Powe grew and diversified, it became synonymous with British quality. During the Second World War, the house famously specialised in producing Officers’ uniforms.

Hector Powe Officers’ Uniform advertisement in the Illustrated London News – 1939

Hector Powe Royal Navy Naval Officers Uniform in The Tatler Magazine 1942

07 —

With the same attention to detail and quality that distinguished their luxury menswear, their impeccable Officers’ uniforms secured Hector Powe’s status as a national treasure.

Naval Officer Uniform advertisement in Tatler, 1942

Hector Powe famous Royal Air Force (RAF) Officers Uniform

08 —

The RAF Officer’s uniform in particular, fostered a patriotic affection for Hector Powe that reverberated beyond fashion.

Hector Powe’s famous RAF Officer’s Uniform

Hector Powe Royal Air Force (RAF) Officers Uniform Hurricane Pilot Frederick Harrold, London's Imperial War Museum

09 —

This jacket was worn by Pilot Officer Frederick Harrold, a Hurricane pilot who was killed in action during the Battle of Britain.

Hector Powe RAF Pilot’s Uniform in the Imperial War Museum, London

1950s - LUXURY OUTFITTERS FOR Men and Women

Hector Powe Menswear and Womenswear, Watercolour 1952

10 —

As Britain gradually raised itself from the devastation of the Second World War, there was a global renaissance in London style. A creative pioneer in the 1950s, Hector Powe diversified into luxury outfitters for both men and women.

Watercolour from Hector Powe catalogue, 1952

Hector Powe Town and Country Suits, Watercolour 1952

11 —

In this new era, Hector Powe led the way in creating elegant and exquisite outfits for the ever-changing social landscape of the 50s.

Hector Powe Town and Country Suits, 1952

Hector Powe and the RAF

Hector Powe and the Royal Air Force (RAF) 1961

12 —

In 1961, after four years of experiments at the Institute of Aviation in Farnborough, Hector Powe and the RAF unveiled their new high-altitude flying suit.

The RAF and Hector Powe – “Per ardua ad astra”

Hector Powe Royal Air Force (RAF) uniform 1961 for high-altitude flying, Regent Street (London)

13 —

The suit had to withstand the new near-Astronaut role of high-altitude flying, 10 miles up in an atmosphere that could boil blood.

Crucially, the new uniform had to adhere to the Geneva Convention so that any pilot found in enemy territory would not be treated as a spy.

Seen below being worn by new pilots at RAF College Cranwell in 1961.

The new RAF Uniform presented by Hector Powe outside 165 Regent Street

1960s - Lungley Powe & “The Quiet Revolution”

Hector Powe 1960s advertisement, business lunch (1962)

14 —

Following the death of Hector Powe, the house was led by his younger brother, Lungley Powe, through the 1960s.

Sharing his brother’s vision, Lungley was determined that Hector Powe would once again change the silhouette of English tailoring to meet the needs of the Modern Gentleman.

Lungley invited these gentlemen to “Quietly join the Hector Powe revolution”.

“Business Lunch”, Hector Powe advertisement, 1962

Hector Powe 1960s Scottish worsted suit advertisement, 1964

15 —

“No guns. No barricades. Just a revolutionary collection of entirely new styles designed by Hector Powe for the man who thinks young. Closer cut, narrower waists, higher jacket buttons and incomparable craftmanship” - Lungley Powe

The Glen Urquhart suit (L) and the Gun Club suit (R), made from Scottish worsted. 1964

1973 - 2008 Burberry x Hector Powe

Hector Powe and Burberry

16 —

Under the stewardship of Lord Wolfson, the Scottish businessman and philanthropist, Hector Powe was merged with Burberry in 1973, with Hector Powe operating as a luxury label within the wider company.

The Equestrian Knight logo of “Burberrys” (as it was known in 1973)

Burberrys and Hector Powe

17 —

Through this partnership, the iconic names of Hector Powe and Burberry were synonymous with British luxury across the globe.

The iconic Burberry x Hector Powe trench coat

Hector Powe by Burberry

18 —

“Hector Powe by Burberrys” entered the lexicon of British street subculture, with tribes such as Mod revivalists, second-wave Skinheads, Suedeheads, and even Football Casuals choosing these collaborative pieces as part of their carefully curated uniforms.

Hector Powe by Burberrys – Street style uniform

LUxury Men’s Accessories by Hector Powe

Hector Powe luxury silk pocket squares, made in england

19 —

In 2018 after a period of dormancy, Hector Powe was relaunched by Hector’s great-grandnephew, Oliver Powe, as this British institution begins the next chapter of its unique story.

Hector Powe’s commitment to luxury and unrivalled quality remains steadfast. Our long-awaited re-launch collection of silk accessories reflects an ambitious vision for the sartorial needs of the modern gentleman.

Hector Powe Luxury Silk Ties, Made in England

20 —

All Hector Powe ties and pocket squares are made with the finest silk and are hand-finished by master craftsmen.

Our printed ties are finished with a single iconic thread below the Hector Powe label, the craftsmen’s stamp of quality, whilst our pocket squares are printed in England with hand-rolled hemming, meaning no one edge is the same.