For centuries, Worcester was known as the place where the finest gloves were made. Dents built a glove factory in Worcester on South Quay in 1777 and only shortly afterwards, changes in export duty meant French gloves started appearing in Britain. Only very efficient factories like Dents could compete and Worcester became an international player in the leather goods market.
By the middle of the 20th century, Dents was making gloves for the French fashion houses and for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. In the 1970s, another Worcester company, Milore, commissioned up and coming designers to make gloves even more stylish.
These designs, which form part of the Worcester glove collection, are by Manolo Blahnik now more famous as the shoe designer loved by Carrie Bradshaw in the TV series Sex and the City. When Blahnik first came to fashionable London in 1968, he worked at the boutique Zapata. By 1972 he had designed accessories for runway shows by Ossie Clark and Jean Muir (as well as these designs for Milore) and he bought out the boutique owners to run it as his own company. It’s wonderful to think that Worcester was part of that momentous moment in fashion history.