WALKING through the streets of Leeds in the United Kingdom one cannot help but notice the different cultures in this cosmopolitan hub.

Coffee shops/cafés show how much good coffee is part of the lifestyle here, while the massive clothing stores with some of the world’s largest brands displaying their best products, shows how fashion remains a priority for many in this city.

But the standout item so far, has been the incredible number of ‘vintage’ clothing stores. These are also known to some as ‘thrift’ stores, ‘charity’ stores or simply, ‘second-hand’ clothing stores.

These vintage stores are everywhere. And more and more young people seem to be flocking towards them than your regular commercial big brand fashion store. It is almost as if, big fashion names are purposefully shunned and neglected. Not because of the price tag they come with, but because of the vintage revolution.

For some of the girls, I imagine it to be like walking into your mother’s (or grandmother’s) wardrobe and realising “oh my goodness, this dress or jersey fits me so well, it’s good quality and soooooo trendy”. This ‘aha’ moment would often lead to the “mom you didn’t tell me you had this in your wardrobe”, line; which would probably be followed by the “you didn’t ask”, response.

Similarly for the guys, it may be like walking into your dad’s wardrobe and realising he has an incredible collection of blazers and shirts you shunned in a previous decade but are now desperate to get your hands on them.

Vintage stores are heaven on earth.

From the blazers, denim jackets, shoes, chains, eyewear, jumpers, dresses, shirts, t-shirts to suitcases and other bags, these stores have EVERYTHING. And they don’t just stock them, they are incredible quality, and totally affordable.

This made me realise just how far behind (sadly) most of our (South) African vintage stores are. There is a handful of them which are often below par and disappointing to say the least.

But this revolution has swept across the UK and what appears to be most of Europe in a big way. Giving big name brands a good run for their money.

There is something about finding such an authentic product in a vintage store that you fall in love with and are pleased after making the purchase.

That was my experience after walking out of BEST in Leeds; an incredible vintage store. I could have spent all day there, but sadly couldn’t.

Great product, at a reasonable price – it’s the real deal.

Check them out here: http://wear.best/

Maybe it’s high time someone or a group of people focused on bringing a ‘BEST‘ to (South) Africa?

Hopefully, the vintage revolution sweeps through Africa sooner than later.

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