A LONDON STORY
Steeped in history, the heritage of Hector Powe is intertwined with the story of London and the United Kingdom from 1908 up until present day. Below, we chart some of the key moments from our past, including our origins in the City of London, the First and Second World War and our historic merge with Burberry.
1900s - Hector Powe and 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.
Early Hector Powe catalogue sketch by the fashion artist, F. Whitby Cox
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.
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 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
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 advertising campaign in Tatler
Hector Powe and the Second World War
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
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
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
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 Outfitter for Men and Women
As Britain gradually raised itself from the devastation of the Second World War, Hector Powe was again at the heart of London style. As the most dynamic fashion house of the 1950s, Hector Powe diversified into luxury outfitters for both men and women.
Watercolour from Hector Powe catalogue, 1952
In this new era, Hector Powe led the way in creating elegant and exquisite outfits for the ever-changing social landscape of the 1950s.
Hector Powe Town and Country Suits, 1952
RAF Special Commission
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 suit had to withstand the new near-Astronaut role of high-altitude flying, 10 miles up in an atmosphere that could boil blood.
Video: Hector Powe x RAF Flying Suit being worn by new pilots at RAF College Cranwell in 1961.
1960's - Lungley Powe and "The Quiet Revolution"
Following the death of Hector, the fashion 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 new "Modernist".
Lungley invited these gentlemen to “Quietly join the Hector Powe revolution”.
“Business Lunch”, Hector Powe advertisement, 1962
“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
1970s - 2000s 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
Through this groundbreaking partnership, the iconic names of Hector Powe and Burberry were synonymous with British luxury across the globe.
The famous Burberry house check lines this Hector Powe x Burberry Overcoat
“Hector Powe by Burberrys” entered the lexicon of British street subculture, with style tribes across London and beyond choosing these collaborative pieces as part of their carefully curated uniforms.
Hector Powe by Burberrys – Street style uniform
A/W 2019 - Independent Luxury
In 2018 after a short 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 latest collection of outerwear, knitwear, cashmere scarves and silk accessories reflects an ambitious vision for the sartorial needs of the style-conscious.
A/W 2019 Hector Powe Outerwear Collection