Paisley patterned silk tie made by Hector Powe. Purchased for the Collecting Culture 'Made in Barking & Dagenham' project.
The first branch of the bespoke outfitter Hector Powe opened in 1910 in Bishopsgate. By the mid-1920s, the firm owned five shops in the City and another in Westminster and were very well-respected in the tailoring business. The company was started by the young Hector Powe (who was born in 1890), the son of a tailor. His first shop gave 'City customers West-End style at City prices'. In the 1920s, Hector Powe bespoke suits cost between four and eight guineas.
The fit of the suit was what distinguished a Hector Powe outfit - and this was known as the 'HP Cut', a form of ‘New Tailoring' introduced in the early 1920s. The suits were made by seamstresses and tailors at their factory workshops in Wantz Road, Dagenham, where up to 300 people worked.
Hector Powe diversified and took advantage of opportunities offered during the Second World War, when they concentrated on making Officers' uniforms, especially those serving in the R.A.F. Officers' Greatcoats were a speciality. They also provided uniform for women officers serving in the A.T.S., W.A.A.F and W.R.N.S. Some Hector Powe stores, and Harrods, also stocked uniforms for Queen Alexandra Nurses.
Hector Powe was one of the smaller British multiple tailors - retailers with a national chain of shops, which were still offering stylish suits in the 1960s made at the Dagenham factory, which had a training unit for school leavers.
Hector Powe was purchased by Great Universal Stores (GUS) in 1958 and the chain was retained on the High Street for some years, before being merged with other menswear brands owned by the group, including Burberry, Pierre Cardin and Willoughby.
Paisley patterned. Black background with gold, brown, blue and green decoration. Lined with dusky-blue silk.
Whole length: 1267mm
Social history, Industry, Textile
Label Woven On reverse: HECTOR POWE / REGENT STREET. W.1 / ALL SILK