Elle magazine hails Manchester as being ‘fashion capital’ of the year

It's about damn time.

Daisy Jackson Daisy Jackson - 11th April 2024

Manchester has been likened to Paris and New York by esteemed fashion magazine Elle, which has labelled us this year’s ‘fashion and creative capital’.

While our city has long been celebrated for its, ahem, grimier subcultures (from raves to Britpop to footie), things have grown a little more fancy in recent years.

The global spotlight really landed on the city when Chanel chose Thomas Street, of all places, to host its prestigious Métiers d’art last December.

The jokes came fast, the rumoured celebrity guest list went into overdrive, but at the end of the day, it was an impressive display of the city’s fashion credentials.

And now Elle magazine has singled our city out for its present day cultural icons as much as its celebrated past.


In a feature written by Manc Becky Burgum, she pointed out that the Chanel show, rain and all, may have pushed Manchester into an entirely new era – one that’s a bit less about our ‘male-focused past glories’.

The glowing endorsement for the city’s current and future cultural scene spreads several pages in the glossy fashion bible this month.


It states: “Often ignored, always underestimated, the country’s second-largest city is manifesting an explosion of talent.”

In it, Elle sings the praises of massive venues like Aviva Studios, Co-op Live and the Manchester Art Gallery, as well as glamorous newcomers like Fenix and Soho House.

But the magazine also speaks of the ‘less polished Salford outskirts’ which is home to venues including The White Hotel, Paradise Works and Hidden.


As for food and drink, Elle’s piece describing Manchester as a cultural capital singled out The Sparrows, Erst and Higher Ground, all Michelin-recommended spots with their roots planted in the north west.

Over in the ‘Chanel-approved Northern Quarter’, it was venues like Stray (a beautiful cocktail bar in a corner of Mackie Mayor’s building), Afflecks (Manchester’s iconic, eccentric shopping emporium), and Band On The Wall that got a mention.

Then there’s the Edinburgh Castle (best Guinness in the city, apparently), the ‘boundary-smashing’ HOME, and the upcoming Treehouse Hotel, all having their praises sung in one of the country’s most famous magazines.

The piece says: “But our (male-focused) past glories aren’t what makes Manchester so special – it’s all about what’s happening right now.

“There is often a blinkered, London-centric outlook that maintains creativity can’t possibly exist outside the M25. But how wrong that is.”


But, it concludes, ‘don’t forget your umbrella – that’s the only stereotype that rings true’.

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Featured image: The Manc Group