The adjective ‘dumbstruck’ is not enough to define how we felt after visiting Leeds. The British city has surprised us with the Leeds Loves Shopping, an event aimed at promoting trade in the city. No wonder? They are full of energy and we now know why. Good2b was invited by Marketing Leeds, and Jet2, a not very well known low cost airline but one you should have into consideration, took us there.
Leeds Loves Shopping takes place every year during ten days in October and includes Fashion Night Outs, fashion shows and other fashion related activities. However, this is just an excuse to show the potential of the city. In fact, Leeds is today one of the few cities that haven’t suffered the economical crisis. It is planning to open a huge shopping centre called Trinity Leeds in 2013 that will place it at the forefront in the UK as far as shopping goes. Leeds is a university city (we found out that Damien Hirst, who had then a solo exhibition running, had studied there), but we didn’t know anything about the city’s full potential. Beyond shopping, Leeds is a good destination to spend a weekend.
Our favourite area was definitely Victoria’s Quarter’s, a place brimming with boutiques integrated in the city’s architecture. There is now a Harvey Nichols with all the top brands we usually find in big shopping centres and others we are not very familiar with here. We visited the Vivienne Westwood store, where you can buy her clothes but also her collaborations with Melissa and Lee. We also dropped by Mulberry, Paul Smith and French Connection UK. You can also find stores that will delight lovers of street wear like HIP 9, which sells brands including Supra, Rockwell by Parra, The Hundreds, G-Shock by Casio and Crooks and Castles.
Leeds Corn Exchange
Another area we loved was Leeds Corn Exchange, a sort of shopping centre housed in an historical building full of young designer’s stores. Kiosk deserves an especial mention. They sell brands such as Nudie Jeans, APC, Fijallraven Kanken and The Herschel. Once you have scoured the area, it is essential to visit the vintage stores located around Leeds Corn Exchange. We were specially impressed by Best Vintage UK and the leather jacket in the window display, an original Jean Paul Gautier jacket from 1995 for just 150 EUR! It was the most expensive garment, so you can imagine what the prices in general are like?
Besides these two areas, we would like to mention Briggate, the main commercial street that crosses the Call Lane and Kirkgate neighbourhoods. We loved GAP, Primark, Urban Outfitters and Joy, a more affordable version of Urban Outfitters, and Topshop, with a unique section of vintage clothes and a bunch of brands that have not yet arrived here.