Leeds will be the first city in the UK to launch a pioneering new shopping experience based around revolving retail, art and avant garde independent brands.
Black Box, branded BLK BX, is a concept that has been created by fashion industry guru Darren Rudland and is in Trinity Leeds, having been taken on by the owners of the building, Landsec.
Shoppers will have noticed the changes taking place already, with elaborate art work and four empty units being taken over and re-worked. The launch is set to take place within the coming weeks.
There will be a rotating line-up of brands, designers, artists, and musicians which are totally different to the usual high street and chain brands.
The constantly changing concept showcases the best up-and-coming independent and online fashion retailers and gives them the opportunity to experiment with their first physical store without having to be restricted by a traditional leasing model which often requires a long-term agreement.
Darren said: “Big landlords are not traditionally set up to work with the kind of boutique, avant-garde and cult brands that the modern consumer demands.
“BLK BX ensures that Landsec can offer bricks-and-mortar retail spaces which work in a streamlined, frictionless way, making the transition from online to offline far easier for smaller labels.”
BLK BX will curate and refresh the space during each changeover to reflect the concept and ethos of the brands involved – and also customer demand, with shops changing overnight if needed.
Over the last few weeks BLK BX has been in talks with potential retailers including creative students from the city’s universities and colleges.
Rob Jewell, business development director at Landsec, said: “Trinity Leeds is the perfect location for such a pioneering project.
“The city has become synonymous with shopping and has steeply risen up the retail rankings since the launch of Trinity Leeds, and we hope this will help build on that reputation ever further.
“We’ve seen a real desire from high-quality online and fledging brands to have access to a physical space, but we’ve also seen a reluctance to commit to a traditional, long lease at such an early stage in their business.
“Historically, taking a lease has required some serious red tape navigation, and an intricate knowledge of property law, insurance obligations, and marketing and branding.
“This model allows the brands to concentrate fully on their retail offer, while BLK BX manages the administrative aspect of the lease.
“BLK BX enables brands to easily access new customers, showcase their products and build a relationship with consumers outside of a screen.
“As landlords, we’re able to secure fantastic, crowd-pleasing retailers who offer a point of difference to more mainstream brands.”
The art is an eclectic mix by sourced by curator Olly Walker from Leeds and also international artists.
Italian muralist Raul has painted the ceiling, French painter Florence Blanchard created the vinyl wrap at the entrance, Leeds’ Nicolas Dixon has created the colourful abstract and Peachzz spray painted the birds.