The popular debate between the Northern and Southern regions extends much further than disagreements over accents, food and social behaviour, to the unfamiliar territory of independent menswear fashion stores. In particular, Shoreditch East London is the destination for the finest independent boutiques; the menswear fashion district is home to stores such as Hostem, Present and The Goodhood Store to name a few retailers that ooze originality.
Frustrated with the lack of creativity and exclusivity within the High Street stores that dominate the shopping experience in the Northern cities, creative individuals are striving to increase the amount of independent labels on offer without having to hop on a train to London.
Trickle Newcastle Based Store
Trickle is a Newcastle based store striving to discover underground innovative labels to entice the menswear market. Sourcing new emerging talent alongside strong, established brands offers a base away from the mainstream retail area and a supporting network for young designers or labels. To encourage exclusivity and quality Trickle offer a limited amount of each garment. Founder of Trickle Darryl Davison, was ambitious to bring the diversity of menswear fashion to the North East city that he had encountered whilst working in London as a banker.
Inside Trickle boutique
Moving to the North West of England, A Shop Called Wood is based in the Northern Quarter, Oldham Street. Personally, whilst visiting Manchester Oldham Street is one of my firm favorites for exclusive finds. Their second store is located in Huddersfield, a West Yorkshire town welcoming directional menswear clothing. Providing the streets of Manchester with unique brands such as YMC, Garbstore and 10 Deep as a way of inspiring their audience to adopt a distinctive style that represents their own personality. A Shop Called Wood reacted to the lack of imagination within Manchester’s fashion stores, 6 years on their success has led to the opening of their second boutique, an online store and recently designing their very own collection.
Cavern Walks is an exclusive shopping destination introducing independent designers and brands to the city of Liverpool. Weavers Door is a menswear store that makes up the collection of boutiques within the standalone retailer. Shunning the sometimes fickle nature of fashion, Weavers Door aims to provide high quality items that are a true investment and maintain their appeal each season. Opting for brands that continue to inspire and encourage individual styles.
I think congratulations are in order for the brave individuals who not only react to the lack of creativity within the North of England compared to the capital, but strive to offer an alternative to the mainstream that has overshadowed menswear fashion. Hopefully, other Northerners will follow (a common trait of the fashion industry) with their interpretation of menswear fashion, resulting in a dramatic increase of independent boutiques supporting local talent with a platform for emerging designers. A positive change in shaping the future of menswear fashion!
This debate is one that I have witnessed being a Northern girl living in the South West, with a huge interest in independent boutiques and vintage fashion. Expressing my views through my freelance writing and styling work allows me to explore many areas of the fashion industry, since graduating with a BA Hons degree in Fashion from the University of the West of England.