From streetwear brands to new Northern Quarter boutiques, we list the stores flying under the radar
Boohoo, Missguided, Matthew Williamson, Zeynep Kartal, etc… when it comes to Manchester’s fashion industry there are many well-established names spanning online, bricks and mortar and designer.
And in many ways the city has become the online fashion capital of the UK with most of the digital big hitters finding fortune right on our doorstep. With so many success stories it’s no wonder many more new fashion businesses are starting to sprout.
To celebrate our burgeoning fashion community, we’ve listed some new, old and under-the-radar brands representing the best of Manchester style.
54 Port Street, Northern Quarter
‘Long live real shopping experiences’ say NOLA, an independent boutique recently opened in the Northern Quarter. Originally hailing from Brighton, the team have joined local boutique Beaumont Organic in the uniform avocado green buildings on Port Street. Inside find a well-curated collection of premium brands – some niche, some well known. With various succulent plants and a chic velvet armchair, it’s as if you’ve walked into someone’s Pinterest apartment. For the clothes, think Scandinavian and Japanese street style: casual, well put together, sustainable and extremely fashion forward. NOLA update their brands every season.
You can also shop Nola online
Manchester-based entrepreneur Sinead Flood is part of the new generation of twenty-somethings who’ve rejected a 9-5 career in favour of going it on their own. She founded July Child – an online store championing cult jewellery brands from across the globe – after an encounter with a New York jeweller. She hasn’t looked back since. July Child boasts jewels from New York to New Zealand and prices vary from high to low. “I like the fact that each piece of jewellery tells its own story - of your travels and adventures, your family, your passions and beliefs. Working with designers internationally has nurtured a sentimentality in me which I want to convey to my customers,” says Sinead.
Shop July Child via the website
Manchester does vintage well. Yet, there are much more vintage outfitters than the stores situated on Oldham Street. Operating from a studio in Ancoats, Dirty Disco is a young online store mending and reworking vintage and second-hand clothing. A cross between Urban Outfitters and Topshop, Dirty Disco has managed to make old clothing feel brand new (just check out their Instagram page).
It’s owned by Hailea a young entrepreneur with a passion for sustainable clothing who believes vintage clothing could help redeem a wasteful fashion industry. She says Dirty Disco’s stock is 99% vintage and recycled: “Waste in the fashion industry is a huge and expensive issue so by only stocking vintage products, we have managed to dramatically reduce our waste in comparison to the majority of Fashion Brands. I’m not one to brag but we think that’s kind of cool, right?”
Shop Dirty Disco online
Here’s one you should probably know already. Native to Manchester, this brand has long been peddling premium casual wears to the city’s fashion conscious since 2013. With relaxed silhouettes, gender-bending shapes and a strong neutral palette, Native Youth clothing is serious everyday wardrobe staples. Winning Young Fashion Brand of the Year at the 2017 Drapers awards, the independent brand is growing in strength.
Native Youth's collections are available online
Online store Neon Rose provides trend-led clothing for the ‘feminine, contemporary and curious’ – we think this means lots of prints and playful dresses for stylish women-about-town. Sanjeev and Amy Kumar founded neon Rose in 2012, during the height of Manchester’s online fashion business boom.
Shop the looks via the Neon Rose online store
While mother-daughter fashion ranges are all the rage on the high street at present (just check out River Island’s new collection), the father equivalent is largely forgotten. In comes ManCub, a newly launched online fashion store with a stylish father-son fashion range. Far from gimmicky, ManCub is a cool and casual collection (and still extremely adorable) of matching bomber jackets, flannel shirts, denim jackets and more. The Manchester-based team launched the online store earlier this year for trendy dads, uncles and more who are proud of their ‘cubs’. Plus, the dads look good. In fact, is there a father equivalent to ‘yummy mummy’?
ManCub is available online
Few brands represent Manchester city centre (or rather ‘0161’) quite as proudly as GRAMM. The online store is a unisex street wear brand inspired by the ‘mannerisms and mentality of inner city youth culture’. Made for the youth by the ‘yutes’, you can find tracksuits, t-shirts, sweatshirts and more from the online ‘corner shop’. Brand ambassadors include IAMDDB, a local hip-hop star who has gone global. GRAMM is similarly international, piquing the attention from major publications.
THE DOLLS HOUSE
67 Bridge Street, Manchester M3 3BQ
Rihanna knew about The Dolls House before we did. The superstar wore one of the boutique’s handmade designs back in 2015 and Kylie Jenner soon followed suit. So it’s certainly not a new store. The boutique was established back in 2012 by founder and designer Rebecca Henry and moved to a bigger store on Bridge Street last year. It’s now a well-established boutique for glamorous gowns with intricate detail, expertly stitched by in-house dressmakers.