Want something unique? Stylish? Maybe even handmade? You can find it all in Leeds at these brilliant independents and trendsetters.
It doesn’t matter if you’re shopping for yourself or you’re on the hunt for stocking fillers, sometimes you need go off the beaten track. If you’re after a unique gift, or you just want to support independent retailers, you’re going to have a grand old time shopping in Leeds city centre. Quirky one-offs, cutting-edge designer gear and historic record shops are all on hand, some tucked away in some of the most beautiful arcades you’ll ever visit. Best of all, you won’t find these shops anywhere else…
The HIP Store
A style stalwart in Leeds since 1987, HIP remains at the cutting-edge where streetwear meets smart. Their three-floor spot on Vicar Lane is constantly refreshed with the latest drops from the likes of Stussy, Norse Projects, Patagonia and Carhartt, and they’ve now added a womenswear range too. It’s a place where you can get a complete fit – the latest sneakers, the limited edition Clark’s Wallabees, jeans and even grooming products to finish off your new look.
The HIP Store, 49-51 Vicar Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6DS.
Colours May Vary
Up on the top floor of the Corn Exchange, Colours May Vary is a cornucopia of art and design books, with a focus on illustration and creativity. You can pick up everything from books about Tove Jansson, creator of The Moomins, to stylish tote bags, homewares and prints. Time it right and you might walk through the door when they’re having one of their regular exhibitions or book launches, or when they’ve just stocked something they’ve commissioned from a local artist – it’s your chance to get something completely unique.
Colours May Vary, Leeds Corn Exchange, Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7BR.
Accent Clothing is over three decades strong in Leeds, that’s more than 30 years of ensuring the people of the city are better dressed. Head to this style cornerstone for all things denim – the jeans selection is brilliant, a strong casual designer selection and even swish clothes to style the kids with. The racks are always well-stocked and have everything from Edwin to True Religion, C.P. Company to Billionaire Boys Club, making it the perfect shop for making sure you dress to impress.
Accent Clothing, 11-13 Queens Arcade, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6LF.
The Plant Point
If you want some botanic inspiration, enter the bijou jungle that is The Plant Point in Leeds Corn Exchange. It’s so gorgeously verdant that you wouldn’t be that surprised if you discovered a hitherto unknown Amazonian tribe within. What you’ll definitely find is a beautiful shop packed with indoor plants, with all the cacti and succulents you could ever need to turn your home green. Add in pots, potting tools and advice aplenty, it’s the perfect place for plant lovers.
The Plant Point, Leeds Corn Exchange, Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7BR.
Jumbo Records has been going for so long – it first opened its doors in 1971 – that many people in Leeds have grown up on the music they’ve bought from its generations of staff. Perhaps that’s why the current owners are former customers – Jumbo is a cherished institution. They still stock all the latest music across multiple formats, as well as merchandise, books and tickets for local shows. Need a new needle for your turntable? They’ve got that too.
Jumbo Records, Merrion Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8NG.
Masato Jones was born in Tokyo and made his way as a designer and pattern cutter in London before opening his boutique Leeds shop in 2021. It’s now a petite but essential place for those stylish folk in the know, combining unique men and women’s clothes – from the dramatic to the casual – with home decor and accessories. Masato goes the extra mile too – bespoke commissions are available, and all women’s clothes are made-to-measure for a perfect fit.
Masato Jones, 5 Thorntons Arcade, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6LQ.
The Cheesy Living Co.
Another Corn Exchange cracker, The Cheesy Living Co. are dons in the dairy game. They graduated from an online lockdown business to market trading before opening their first permanent home, packed with all things cheesy – plus a tempting array of charcuterie. You can choose to dine in on their curated choice of cheeses and hams, or order up boxes of the good stuff to click and collect. The ‘Fondue it Yourself’ box has everything you need for a melting moment.
The Cheesy Living Co., Unit C8A, The Corn Exchange, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 7BR.
Welcome Skate Store
A place of pilgrimage for skaters in Leeds and beyond, Welcome ticks every box for skateboarders and streetwear fans. They stock all the big brands, from Nike SB sneakers through to Converse, Vans and clothes from Carhartt, Dickies and Thrasher, while they’ve got a panoply of boards and accessories. Their own brand efforts – both Welcome and Don’t Mess With Yorkshire – are also iconic, with new collections being added to their racks on a regular basis.
Welcome Skate Store, 22 Thornton’s Arcade, Briggate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6LQ.
Our Handmade Collective
One of the joys of shopping in Leeds independents is grabbing something you won’t find anywhere else, while also helping to support local makers and crafters. That’s what Our Handmade Collective is all about, with dozens of Leeds and Yorkshire artisans contributing everything from cards and jewellery to prints, mugs and more to the shelves. It’s the perfect gift shop, with items starting at less than £1, plenty of Yorkshire-themed items and new stock all the time.
Our Handmade Collective, Grand Arcade, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6PG.
The Bookish Type
Hidden away upstairs in the Merrion Centre is one of the city’s most progressive bookshops, The Bookish Type. An independent queer retailer, owners Ray Larman and Nicola Hargrave have been promoting novels, zines, plays, memoirs, poetry and children’s books from LGBTIQA+ writers and illustrators since they opened in 2020. It’s not just about the books they sell, though. They run events aplenty too, from quizzes to tours, signings and screenings, all of an inclusive nature.
The Bookish Type, 58 Merrion Centre (upstairs), Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8NG.