the city talking: fashion in leeds, vol. 1 — watch nowBack
The City Talking
The City Talking: Fashion in Leeds, Vol.1 is the third feature-length documentary from Hebe Works, and is available to watch online now.
Fashion in Leeds follows the first volumes of The City Talking: Music in Leeds and The City Talking: Tech in Leeds, films that apply the ethos refined in more than fifty issues of The City Talking, published across the country, to in-depth explorations of the stories that make cities.
The film is the story of a city whose industrial might made the clothes the world wore in the 20th century; a city that has replaced factories with boutiques and acquired a new style, and new stories to tell, in the 21st.
You can watch The City Talking: Fashion in Leeds, Vol.1 online now by clicking on the video player below.
One of Leeds’ stories in the twentieth century was fashion. Everybody in Leeds seemed to know somebody who worked in the clothing industry; at one time, a quarter of all working people, and half the working women, were measuring, making or selling clothes. Companies like Burton and Hepworth’s pioneered manufacturing, branding and retail, dominating town centres across the country.
Leeds’ manufacturing strength weakened in the 1970s, but the city adapted to new, freer styles and trends as independent boutiques like Strand, Accent and The Hip Store became firmly established in the fashion world, forging new institutions and reputations. With SpeedQueen for the party scene and Indie Joze for hangovers, the arcades around Victoria Quarter were the place to be seen.
Harvey Nichols wanted to be seen there, opening their first store outside London in Leeds in 1996, taking Leeds’ fashion to the next level and giving the city the confidence to launch new brands like Aqua, ghd, and Illamasqua.
Throughout it all fashion in Leeds has retained a spirit of pioneering integrity, co-working and education. From Leeds College of Art’s fashion course Ria Sharma launched Make Love Not Scars, fighting for acid attack survivors in India; while the Victorian arcades and Corn Exchange keep launching new brands, trends and concepts.
The City Talking: Fashion in Leeds, Vol.1 is supported by LeedsBID, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds College of Art and Trinity Leeds.
Read more about our 100 page special fashion edition of The City Talking magazine here.