I went shopping – again – after work yesterday to my current favourite retail destination, Victoria Gate in Leeds.
Opened in October last year, Victoria Gate is the most beautiful place and Yorkshire is very lucky to have it. If you haven’t been yet, it’s so worth making the effort because it’s heavenly, and the stores inside are at the top of their game – John Lewis, Cos, & Other Stories, The White Company and, my absolute favourite, Anthropologie.
Anthropologie is THE destination for those seeking something out of the ordinary, for lovers of art, design and fashion, offering considered, thought-provoking pieces gathered from designers and crafters from across the world.
Sounds expensive? Well, not really. Truly gorgeous dresses are from around £80 with most sitting in the £128-138 range. And we are talking really beautiful statement dresses, both holiday, weekend and special occasion perfect.
These are clothes for individuals and creatives, with pieces handpicked for each store. They are bohemian, romantic, glamorous, easy and super-versatile.
Anthropologie stores are filled with works of art, and one-off, specially created artistic installations. On a tour of the London flagship store on Regent Street last year, I visited the Anthropologie crafting studio and workshop, where the design team make works of art to wow and use in the stores. It’s all so inspirational, vibrant and creative.
Anthropologie was founded in 1992 in Wayne, Pennsylvania and is part of the URBN family of brands that includes Urban Outfitters.
Inspired by fashion, travel, art and entertaining, Anthropologie specialises in collaboration with both established and upcoming artists, and its buyers and designers travel the world to uncover special pieces in clothing, accessories, beauty, found objects, gifts and homewares. Anthropologie has around 200 stores across America. In the UK it has shops in London, Bath and Edinburgh. The Leeds Victoria Gate branch is the first store in the north of England and the tenth store in the UK.
Anthropologie homewares are what Sharon and I love most of all. I couldn’t help it, especially because, actually, many pieces are so reasonably priced and look far more expensive than they really are.
I bought a crackled plant pot for £8, an S mug for £10, a little blue-and-white plant pot for £4, a jasmine candle for £16, and eight door knobs (if you need door knobs, there are beautiful ones to be found). And a major shout-out for Anthropologie candles, fill a room with divine scent and last forever.
A visit to Anthropologie Leeds is a treat, and I always emerge feeling inspired and uber-creative. And yet, I believe there are in many people in Yorkshire and even Leeds who don’t know anything about it – I was chatting about it to a couple of members of staff at nearby Harvey Nichols, and they had never heard of it, much less been in.
There have been concerns about footfall in the Victoria Gate shopping centre, and a feeling that the brands are too niche and high end for the Yorkshire shopper. Well, this really is total rubbish. The stores are fabulous, eclectic and a joy to visit. Prices are reasonable and the current sales are incredible. Perhaps there is rather more work to be done by Victoria Gate itself in spreading the word. Well, we are spreading the word. Go and see it all for yourself.
Visit www.anthropologie.com for inspiration.