- 1936-1940 (Creation)
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Burton became the label for Montague Burton Ltd in 1954 after a company restructure and merger with Jackson the Tailor. This resulted in a complete redesign and launch of a comprehensive new advertising campaign aimed at young male consumers. In 1969 the company became the Burton Group. Its demerger in 1997 led to the establishment of the Arcadia Group.
Montague Burton Ltd was founded in the early 1900s by Jewish immigrant Montague Burton (1885-1952). Born a Lithuanian Jew named Meshe David Osinsky, he travelled to the north of England in 1900 and quickly entered the men's tailoring trade, changing his name at some point after his arrival. After starting with a shop selling menswear he began manufacturing and adopted the multiple tailoring model pioneered by the Leeds-based tailoring trade. Multiple tailors had high street stores selling made-to-measure men's suits (and smaller numbers of ready-to-wear) which were cut and sewn in factories owned by the same business. By the end of the 1930s Montague Burton Ltd had over 700 outlets across Great Britain and Ireland and their Hudson Road factory in Leeds was the biggest clothing factory in Europe.
In 1946 the company purchased the Peter Robinson department store and in 1968 it was the top floor of Sheffield's Peter Robinson which was the origin of Top Shop. Aimed at selling fashionable clothes to 15-25 year-old women it was immediately successful and became a retail chain in its own right. Burton attempted to reach young men with the Mr Burt label and stores in the early 1970s but they were not profitable. In 1978 after a major restructure and store closures the company again tried to cater to the young male fashion market with the launch of Top Man - by 1980 they had expanded to 45 shops.
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Country of Design: England
Country of Manufacture: England
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Physical characteristics and technical requirements
Details: Double breasted, no back vents, cotton lining, jetted pockets
Label: Oceanic Serge. Montague Burton Tailor of Taste
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Related units of description
Invisible Men exhibition label:
BLACK DOUBLE-BREASTED JACKET
Montague Burton Ltd
Sources of the double-breasted style in tailoring include riding coats of the 1700s and the frock coat of the 1800s. Double-breasted jackets were popular in the 1930s and this one was made by the company Montague Burton who reached their peak by the end of the decade with over 600 shops across Great Britain and Ireland.
Archive no. 2018.199