Continuing our Store Visit series, we headed up to Manchester to talk with Charlie, Chris and Brett of Yards Store.
Widely considered England’s northern capital, Manchester’s fashion scene is often relegated to talk of fast-fashion fuckeries and clout-driven “creative directorships”. But bubbling just beneath the surface is one of the UK’s most prolific northern outposts of style and culture: a proud enclave of critically acclaimed music, an electric nightlife scene, some choice food spots, and a thriving eco-system of independent stores doing the lord’s work when it comes to curating and celebrating the good clobber.
One such store is Yards Store who, from an unassuming little space on Old Bank Street, offer up a curation of brands with something to say. We sat down with the team to talk about their brand selection, what it means to be an independent store in Manchester, and what the creative scene in the city is looking like.
Tell us a bit about the store - when did it open and what's the vision behind it?
Charlie – Yards originally opened in leafy Macclesfield in 2016, but relocated up the road to our current location in Manchester City Centre in 2019. We’re a relatively small outfit currently, with a little shop tucked away down Old Bank Street in the Royal Exchange. We like working with brands that have a bit of a story behind them and that are a bit different to the norm.
Chris – Yeah, we try and source gear that we like from around the globe, that you won’t find in too many other places. We have a really nice mix, ranging from technical outdoor clothing and accessories to rugged workwear and the like.
What do you love about Manchester and the neighbourhood you're based in?
Charlie – The music venues, the pubs, the food, the overall vibe, culture and heritage. There’s a great mix of new and old.
Brett – Yeah, Manchester’s really the whole package. It’s not too big or too small. If you’re into anything kinda interesting, whether it’s clothes, music, beer or whatever, you’re probably gonna keep bumping into more people who are into the same kind of thing. It’s a nice community.
What are some of your favourite brands /things you stock in store?
Brett – Gramicci is a universal favourite amongst the staff. We’re all rocking G-pants at the moment – they’re top.
Chris – We’re a fairly diverse bunch at Yards. Some of the lads are into your rugged Americana such as Woolrich, RRL and Filson, where as others prefer their garb technical and Japanese – so brands like And Wander and Goldwin also get a lot of love. We’re lucky enough to have two of the recently re-booted Massimo Osti brands, ST-95 and Left Hand, as well as local hero’s, Hikerdelic.
Favourite new brands coming out of Manchester?
Charlie – I’ve gotta shout out Mellow Clo. I like how their love for nature and the outdoors ties cohesively through the colour palettes, prints and material choices. They’re building a strong community around the brand and their look-book’s are always on-point.
Chris – WAWWA have been on my radar for a little while now. They make ace utilitarian clothing that sits somewhere between traditional workwear and more contemporary streetwear, with a strong focus on sustainability and the environment. They even produce some of their products in-house at their shipping container/factory here in Manchester, and just up the road in Bolton, too. I really like what they’re about.
Brett – The Longshot Exp. make some mint hats that are rooted in skateboarding culture. They’re proper artisans that put a lot of care into what they produce. They’re made in small runs by just one pair of hands, so they’re gonna look top on anyone’s head.
What sets apart the fashion and creative scene in Manchester from the rest of the UK?
Chris – Definitely the aforementioned sense of community. Everyone tries to uplift everyone. Everyone appreciates what other people bring to the party. There’s not a lot of snobbery going on, which is characteristic of the city as a whole, in my opinion.
Charlie – We have a proud history of leading the way when it comes to fashon and music. Given our location next to the Peak District, and the fact it’s always wazzing it down here – outdoor gear has always been a big part of the Manchester style vernacular. We were all into Gore-Tex before it was trendy!
Brett – It’s one of the Manc commandments, man. “Thou must always have a big jacket”.
What's next for Yards Store?
Charlie – I suppose to continue growing like we have been doing, to keep bringing new and interesting brands into the scene. We’ve got a really nice customer-base made up of others who are as passionate about the gear we sell as we are, so as long as that continues, we’re happy.
Brett – Yeah, just vibes n’ that. “The world is our oyster”, or something.
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