Happy Wednesday to you all. I’ve had the most brilliant of weeks you know, and everything has just been so wonderful. A lot of great things have been happening recently and I’ve been quite the busy women. Two Friday’s ago I was invited along to the launch of the pop-up store Ushiwear in the Trinity Centre, in 10 hours I’ll be on a beach on an island last Sunday I completed the Leeds 10K run in my best ever time.I feel so happy and excited for everything right now, whether that’s my tiredness talking (could be), but everything is just so good; and isn’t it amazing to feel like this?
If there was anyone in Leeds I would love to pass my good vibes on to, it would be the Ushiwear team and their exciting venture. For those of you who haven’t come across the brand yet, Ushiwear was born from the imagination of Yorkshire designer Jilly Kapusi (pronounced Kap-Ushi) who – with the support of her husband Neil – officially launched the British brand back in 2008.Being true to its Yorkshire roots, Ushiwear’s products are all designed and hand printed in the UK, with all of the clothing, labels, tags and packaging printed in the Ushiwear store in Mirfield.
The brand itself is represented by an ox, which was inspired by an item on display at a design exhibition, with Jill explaining it was a Shaman’s headdress went to. Yet, the ox, in fact, has a far more symbolic meaning to the clothing brand as an ushi-oni is also a mythical ox-like creature according to Japanese folklore, with Jill’s zodiac sign also being a Taurus.
Funny how these things fall in place, right?Since their launch, Ushiwear has been present at quite a few festivals across the UK, but one of their super exciting recent developments has of course been getting a spot in the Trinity Centre. Located on the first floor, in the corner adjacent to River Island and Topshop, the store glows and oozes with awesome collections longing to be admired.
With all their products being hand-printed or embroidered here in the UK, every item has this great sentiment and feel to it, often with pieces being a complete one-off with ever-so slightly different quirks. My first instinct, as with any material really, was to immediately get a feel for the quality and texture- soft, comforting yet strong. The items gave off a really cool sporty vibe, with powerful, punchy colours and recognisable branding.
Ushiwear’s handmade designs offer collections for men, women and children, with many of the items in the menswear having the potential to be unisex. I also love random rails of mix-match clothing, and in the far corner I spotted a few slightly different tees hung up. And, ummmmm, who doesn’t love a good old random rummage? I found this pretty fitted baseball top that had a very lovely shape to it, cream coloured with red arms and the Ushi head logo. As a thanks for coming to the launch, I was able to keep the top *woooooohoooo* and I was over the moon, as the fit, texture and colours were seriously wonderful. Plus it also made for a perfect cat-cuddling top too. The day of the launch, we had been checking out Ushiwear’s winter accessories, from their bobble hats, to snoods, to backpacks, Ushiwear have captured a collection that is attractive and sporty, appealing to all genders and just to bloody more-ish.
Whilst the brand and founders are utterly interesting and genuinely lovely, I was fascinated and drawn into their festival collection. It’s something I have never seen before, with beautiful Autumn colours and really unusual quirks to each of the products. Knowing Ushiwear’s products are all handmade, this brought in an extra depth of fascination to the range.Seeing the intrigue, we were introduced to Harriet, Leeds fashion student, who was given a brief on repurposing tents for fashion as part of a university collaboration. The garments were amazing, really fun yet realistic and of course highly practical and supports the issue of sustainable fashion. With detachable bags that clip onto the jacket, or extendable arms, or even a roll-up sleeping-bag-jacket, how could you not fall in love with this creativity?
Hats off to the team at Ushiwear, brilliant people, brilliant fashion, and brilliant vibes. If you won’t be able to visit their last few days in the Trinity Centre, be sure to keep an eye out on what the team are up to, as big things will be lined up with these guys, so don’t say I didn’t warn you!