Wetherall Bio for Label resource

Discussion in 'PUBLIC Labels for the Label Resource - Add here' started by Pinkcoke, Sep 17, 2013.

  1. Pinkcoke

    Pinkcoke Trade Member

    Yeah, I should be prepping more vintage inspirations listings but I got well sidetracked trying to sort out the muddy mess that is the Wetherall labels and history. Can't say I found anything miraculous but at least there are some dates to go by now. Essentially the labels did not change from their original design, only the colour and combination varies through time, and the wording alternates between 'Bond Street W.I' and 'Bond Street Sportsclothes' below the 'Wetherall'. Since no registered symbol or wording ever appears on their brand labels, the dates this occurred makes no difference. Some labels then say 'Made in Great Britain' below this, which we can presume is at least from when they began exporting in the 50's and 60's. They start including the wool mark in the 60's. Labels with all the wash/care symbols are of course, from the 1970's.

    Feel free to add or query what I have written/quoted.

    Wetherall was a British company founded c.1870 with manufacturing based in Denbigh, North Wales. It became a limited company in 1901 under the name Wetherall Bond Street W.I. Limited.
    "The house came into prominence following the First World War with the Greatcoat. Women who had been in the services found feminine clothes just too feminine after uniforms. The Greatcoat, designed with almost military precision, was a compromise then, and is still appearing in international magazines." (The Calgary Herald,1968)
    By the 1930's Wetherall also had shops at 189 Regent Street in London, Liverpool and Oxford.
    By 1947 Wetherall was advertising in UK magazines including Vogue, Harpers Bazaar and The Tatler and held both UK and US patents for their designs.
    In 1948 it was announced that the US would begin making Wetherall's famous four way suits and coats.
    By the mid to late 1960's Wetherall had a range for young ladies called 'Younger Wetherall' and were using the Woolmark logo. They were also making ladies suits out of new man made fabrics branded Crimplene and Terylene.
    In 1968 the brand's goods were being sold in Calgary in Canada, and had previously been sold in Vancouver and Victoria. Articles included reversible capes, coats, suits, skirts, blouses and hats.
    The brand was trademarked as Wetherall Limited in the UK in 1972, and the US in 1973 by which time the product range had expanded to include ladies and girl's coats, suits, jackets, shirts, dresses, blouses, slacks, sweaters, cardigans, capes, hats, waistcoats and tunics.
    At the height of the brand's success Wetherall had 80 concessions (shops within shops), 22 of their own stores and had shops on Cunard liners including 'The Queen Mary'.
    Business declined and in 1992 a competing business called - who already made reversible ladies outerwear that was run by Welsh businessman Roy Johnson bought the Wetherall brand and changed their own company name to Wetherall. Since then the business has grown with more than half the business from mail order and about a third exported.
    The company now has over 30,000 mail order customers - some 50 of them are ladies with titles. Over 90% of Wetherall products are manufactured at the company's own factory in Denbigh, North Wales.

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  2. Morgan Howell

    Morgan Howell Registered Guest

    Please see the following from my father Ralph Howell who was the National Display Manager at Wetherall:

    Thanks Morgan,
    Didn't know they started in Denbigh, I knew that after the family sold up
    Roy Johnson took it back to Denbigh.
    The reversible coats were called Turnabout, double sided fabric, patterned
    one side and plain the other.
    I am sure that in the 50s to 70s the Regent street address was 198 and not
    189. Even numbers on the east side.next to Galleries La Fayette.
    The younger range was marketed under the 'Rix' label.
    Cheers, Dad
  3. Pinkcoke

    Pinkcoke Trade Member

    Morgan please thank your father for the additional information, we are always seeking to improve our Label resource with new information.
    poppysvintageclothing likes this.
  4. glynis tabberer

    glynis tabberer Registered Guest

    I worked for Wetherall/Baccarat in the 70s, but can't find any mention of the business when the factory was based in Colquitt Street, Liverpool. The owners were Clare and Monty Black. Does anyone have any recollections?

  5. Groucho7

    Groucho7 Registered Guest

    Hi Glynis. My late father Eric M was sales director of Baccarat and Wetherall mid to late seventies. His great partner in crime was Hugh Goldie who was Monty Black's personal assistant. I spent many a time at the Great Marlborough St showroom and worked at various concessions, eg Harrods, Harvey Nichols and Libertys (where we had a nil week once !) on Saturdays and school holidays. Very happy days, especially for this teenage boy as I was rubbing shoulders with gorgeous house models (eg French Tricia) and pouring myself generous tumblers of scotch. The lovely Miss Benn was the receptionist, she reminded me of Miss Moneypenny ...I'm sure that was the image Monty wished to create. Many stories to tell, just wonderful sunny times. Do you remember my Dad? I remember how happy everyone was when they won the contract for BA stewardess uniforms.
  6. Groucho7

    Groucho7 Registered Guest

    Baccarat was the more expensive label. Wetherall mainly reversibles ..capes etc. I worked in the menswear concessions which were a relatively small part of the business. Pig skin jackets, suede and sheepskin coats mainly. One Saturday we sold six sheepskin coats to an Arab who had us wrap them and accompany his chauffeur to the Bentley ...he peeled us each a crisp tenner (double our Saturday wage). It was a £1200 sale which was huge. The same day we had around 12 jackets stolen from the concession and we all received official warnings. Apparently it was the notorious Harrods black bin gang. The shop was vulnerable as we were near a side entrance....circa 1977.
    EndlessAlley and Pinkcoke like this.

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