Come on, vogue, let your body move to the music Manchester! Let the cobbled streets and canals be your catwalk as you pose for those selfies and feel like the model you are. If there’s one thing Paris is known for beyond its romantic getaways, architecture and arts, it’s fashion. Paris is regarded as the world’s fashion capital, with major French brands such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Dior all having their headquarters in the city.
Like Paris, Manchester also has its fair share of fashion influence. Back in the 1700s, the world’s first textile mill powered by steam was opened on Miller Street in Shudehill. In the following century, the North West became a powerhouse of the textiles industry. The number of cotton mills in Manchester peaked at 108 in 1853. Fast forward to today and the city’s fashion focus lies not in its trading and textiles, but in its array of unique and independent boutiques and brands.
We’ve highlighted some of the best that Manchester has to offer; from reclaimed vintage-wear, to a designer store named as one of the finest by Vogue, we’ve got you covered for a day of retail therapy in the city. Let’s start with...
If it’s independent and quirky shops you’re after, head to the Northern Quarter, often found in lists of Europe’s ‘hippest’ neighbourhoods. The maze of side streets and alleys is home to some of Manchester’s best boutiques, including Rockers. If you’re a rock’n’roll lover, this one is for you!
Established in 2003, Rockers sells rock’n’roll clothing and accessories for both ‘cool guys and rockin’ gals.’ They stock a wide range of cool gear including lounge shirts, tees and jeans, creepers, swing dresses, wiggle dresses...the list goes on! Why not take a trip and have a look for yourself?
Situated in Spring Gardens, Hervia was set up to give its clients the opportunity to acquire some of the best-established designs on the planet and be amongst the first to support new generations of British talent. The shop was founded in 1993 by Oscar Pinto, and was the first store to stock debut collections from the late Alexander McQueen.
The first Hervia was destroyed in a 1996 IRA bombing. Undeterred, Oscar went on to become successful retailers of Vivienne Westwood and opened seven stores throughout the UK. In 2011, Hervia partnered with Adidas Y-3 to launch the first Adidas Y-3 flagship store in the country.
With its first store opening up in Leeds, Blue Rinse expanded to set up a shop on Oldham Street in Manchester. Unlike many vintage boutiques, Blue Rinse create their own wearable, contemporary clothes using vintage material and reworked garments. The style has its roots in the last two decades of the 20th century, with a focus on American casual wear. If it’s denim, checked shirts, sports jackets and floral frocks you’re after, Blue Rinse is the place for you!
This gem in Rusholme has everything from beautiful butterfly sleeved abayas and every-day hijabs in quality fabrics, to standout occasion wear for Eid and other celebrations. Abayas Boutique is a well-known provider of Islamic modest wear.
Located on Thomas Street, this menswear store is a sanctuary of well made, well-designed garments with an emphasis on casual wear. Plenty of shirts, jumpers, jackets and jeans are available for those who like to relax and do outdoorsy things.
Housed in a former Victorian fish market, this beautifully restored building is home to two floors of studios where artists, potters and designers can create and sell their work all in one space. In this treasure trove you’ll find unique pieces of jewellery and garments from some of Manchester most talented creators.
We could go on, but you’d be here all day! So, put on your best shoes, do a little turn on the catwalk and treat yourself to a much-needed day exploring all the amazing shops and stores Manchester has to offer. Strike a pose, there’s nothing to it!
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