City centre retailer plans to stock Leeds fashion grads

Lambert’s Yard will also host events and sell established brands

design fashion lamberts yard leeds fashion initiative lower briggat popup retail style yorkshire

An independent fashion retailer has announced plans to stock designs by Leeds grads.

Described as an “independent concept store”, Lambert’s Yard boasts an impressive range of designers  as well as event spaces.

Now the Lower Briggate store has announced plans for its “Leeds Fashion Initiative”, which aims to incorporate local fashion graduates into its roster.

We talked to retail director Adam Jagger about the store’s plans. He said: “We’re basically a hub for all things creative.

“The store is a platform for emerging talent to be merchandised and stocked alongside established brands.

“We’re a marketplace environment where, if you’re a young designer and you’ve got a collection that’s in keeping with the Lambert’s Yard aesthetic, you can have your stock in here.

“Because we’re not forward ordering we can take a risk on new brands, so we’re a platform for that really.”

Adam sees the move as an obvious step forward for the brand, who are always on the lookout for new things.

He says: “We’re offering newness all the time, so our customers are constantly coming in to look for new talent they might not be able to find in a normal store.

“During Graduate Fashion Week, for example, we can completely revamp the shop floor overnight and turn it into a completely different destination to what it was the day before.

“It’s quite exciting like that, and it means we can have a range of customers – they can be anything from 15 to 60, just anyone who wants to see something new.

“We’re trying to do something a little different rather than to cater to just one market.”

The initiative itself is being set up in conjunction with Leeds City Council, and will look for emerging talents at all of Leeds’ universities.

Adam says: “We’re setting up something called the Incubator Project where we’ll be taking some of the best designs and the best students from several different sectors.

“We’ll offer them facilities to stay in Leeds after they graduate and offer them lots of support from external partners, experts and big retailers.

“We’ve only been going for six months so currently we’re focused on students in Yorkshire. There’s no reason we can’t branch out eventually but predominantly it’s Yorkshire at the moment.

“I think the appetite is here. 30 years ago Leeds was a huge hub for manufacturing and we’re trying to bring some of that back.

“I’ve been working down in London for the last 15 years and I’ve just moved back home to do this project. The city’s changed dramatically since I’ve been away – it feels like London on a smaller scale.

“How Shoreditch was when I first moved and how Shoreditch is now, it feels similar. Leeds has the potential to change in a similar way.”