Menswear chain Burton is to launch a new heritage-inspired sub-brand named after its founder Montague Burton, which will use exclusively British-made fabrics.
The autumn 11 range, which will go into stores at the start of September, will draw on Burton’s archives of traditional tweed overcoats and tailoring, including the tweed suits that inspired the phrase a “five guinea suit for 55 shillings” and helped to grow the Burton business in the early 1900s.
It will comprise an overcoat with duffle buttons, four jackets, two suits and four caps, all designed by Burton head of design Jonathan Lovett. All the garments will be given traditional English boys’ names such as William and Harry for two of the caps.
Most of the garments will be made overseas but all the fabrics will be sourced from the UK, including from factories such as woollen mill Abraham Moon & Sons in Guiseley, Leeds, which has had a relationship with Burton for more than 100 years.
The move is the latest effort by Burton’s parent company Arcadia to support UK manufacturing. In February, Drapers revealed Arcadia was increasing its orders from UK garment factories to offset the impact of delays on goods manufactured overseas. Last month, it emerged owner Sir Philip Green was in talks with the Government to set up manufacturing academies to train the next generation of skilled machinists and pattern cutters. It also reflects the Drapers SOS campaign, which highlights the skills shortage in UK manufacturing.
A spokesman for Burton told Drapers that the 2012 London Olympics were fuelling a sense of patriotism and helping to revive interest in UK-made product.
“There is a real return to Cool Britannia. We are lucky we have such a strong archive to draw from. Looking through [it] was like stepping back in time - it was all very Mad Men or [later] Life On Mars,” he said. He added that the pieces had been reproduced taking advantage of advancements in fabric technology, which meant coats that would once have been very heavy were now lighter but just as warm.
The Montague Burton sub-brand is planned as a “permanent fixture”, but it may be restricted to autumn ranges rather than being made available all year round.
Prices have not yet been set but they will be slightly higher than Burton’s core collection.