Anyone who’s ever been to Leeds will know that its residents are fashion obsessed. As far back as 1996, Harvey Nichols chose Leeds as the site of its first ever store outside London. Then as now, a combination of a huge student population, stylish locals and a thriving music and club scene ensured that there’s always something to dress up for in this northern power house.
Today, the city hosts the Leeds International Festival – 10 days of live cultural events – and unsurprisingly fashion plays a huge part. The designer count will be high in the city over the next seven days and many of the UK’s most exciting young creatives will be hosting events.
Christopher Raeburn is running T-shirt and crafting workshops using fabrics donated by the 200 year-old Yorkshire textile mill HW Hainsworth. There will also be a Fashion East invasion, when Matty Bovan, Per Götesson, Mimi Wade and ART SCHOOL sit down to talk style and success with their charismatic mentor Lulu Kennedy.
Sadie Williams will give a talk on her experience as a young designer and Marques Almedia is hosting an event at Harvey Nichols. On the cultural side, Vogue contributing editor Claudia Croft brings choice pieces from the M&S fashion archive (kept in a special facility at Leeds University) to the city centre with an exhibition in the store’s windows, whilst the cultural commentator Adam Murray will analyse the unique Northern perspective on style. As well as that, punk icons Cosey Fanni Tutti and Viv Albertine be hosting talks, and the history of the northern club scene will be examined in a series of “One Foot In The Rave” events.