1900s - The "HP Cut"
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.
Hector felt that men’s fashion was ripe for change after the War. Men had become accustomed to the athletic, more masculine lines of service uniform and did not want to return to the narrow, cramping style of the pre-1914 era.
So Hector endeavoured to provide gentlemen with a more stylish silhouette. This was known as the "HP Cut", a pioneering form of New Tailoring'.
Early Hector Powe catalogue sketch by the fashion artist, F. Whitby Cox
1920s - Regent St, London
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.
Evening Dress Watercolour– 1924
1930s - West End Touch
Obsessed with the notion of English elegance, the three Powe brothers successfully captured that most enigmatic characteristic of London luxury, “the West End touch”.
Hector Powe A/W 1934 in Tatler
Second World War
With the same attention to detail and quality that distinguished their tailoring and luxury fashion, during the Second World War, the house specialised in producing Officers' uniforms.
Officers' Uniform advertisement - Illustrated London News, 1939
1940 - Battle of Britain
The RAF Officer’s uniform in particular, became synonymous with Hector Powe of Regent St.
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 - Womenswear Re-Defined
As Britain gradually raised itself from the Second World War, Hector Powe was again at the heart of the re-emergence of London style.
As one of the most dynamic fashion house of the 1950s, Hector Powe now became known for it's Womenswear, replacing prints for block colours, and Pre-War conformity for androgynous silhouettes.
Watercolour from Hector Powe Spring/Summer Catalogue, 1952
1961 - Hector Powe x RAF
In 1961, after four years of experiments at the Institute of Aviation, Hector Powe and the RAF unveiled their new high-altitude flying suit.
The suit had to withstand the new near-Astronaut role, 10 miles up in an atmosphere that could boil blood.
Flight Lieutenant Ian Thomson of 111 Squadron stands by a Lightning F.1
1960's - "We Are The Mods"
Following the death of Hector, the fashion house was led by his younger brother, Lungley Powe. Lungley was determined that Hector Powe would once again change the silhouette of English tailoring to meet the needs of the new "Modernist".
“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
London Mods in the West End, 1965
1970s - 90s Hector Powe x Burberry
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 iconic Hector Powe x Burberry trench coat
2020 - Heritage Re-Imagined
In 2018 after a period of dormancy, Hector Powe was relaunched by Hector’s great-grandnephew, Oliver Powe.
The latest collection offers a contemporary re-imagining of the Hector Powe style - Military tones, athletic cuts and re-constructed aesthetics.
A/W 2020 Hector Powe Outerwear Collection