Harrogate businesses showed off their collections on Saturday 20th May in a Celebration of Fashion designed to champion the wonderful mix of retail shops, from independents to national chains, that call the town their home.

Hundreds of shoppers watched in glorious weather as models walked an open-air catwalk alongside a big screen and tastefully decorated Victoria Shopping Centre Piazza area.

The event, which was organised and fully funded by Harrogate BID was sponsored by The Victoria Shopping Centre as well as The Stray Ferret been named as the media partner. Enchantica supported the event through creativity, community and engagement with Suzie Vaughan acting as the lead stage host.

Footage from the day can be found here – Harrogate Celebration of Fashion by Harrogate BID – YouTube

The day was divided up into different fashion themes – Harrogate on the high street, summer selection, upcycling, wedding season, hair & beauty, activewear and a children’s celebration.

Behind the scenes, dozens of models both professional and volunteers were changing outfits, having their hair styled by Baroque and their make up touched up but White Rose College of Beauty to make sure they looked absolutely fabulous.

On stage, personal stylist, Anna Spreckley, provided the audience with fashion insights and tips whilst ex pro dancer and model Scott Campbell added to a fantastic offer.

Businesses involved ranged from Morgan Clare, Primark, Marks and Spencers, Sophie Likes, Elite Bridal, Harrogate Town AFC, Infinity & Co, Monsoon, Hoopers, LK Bennett, Specsavers, Bias, Artizan, Sweaty Betty, Hobbs, the Turkish Baths, Lush, Beyond Imagination, Molton Brown, Bettys, Phoenix Lounge, Fennec & Darwin and many more. Nicholls Tyreman, A-Plan Insurance, Mumbler and The Stray Ferret supported as high street champions in the upcycling challenge.

BID manager, Matthew Chapman said he was pleased so many retailers had taken part and the numbers who had attended.

“I think it’s been really, really positive. It’s been twelve weeks in the planning so we’ve delivered this celebration in quite a short space of time. You can see by the numbers today it’s been very positive. There’s lots to celebrate in the Harrogate retail sector even though the high street is changing. “With the cost of living and other factors it is tough for businesses at present. We at the BID intend to support businesses and I feel today’s done just that.”

Nick Hubbert, general manager of Hoopers and BID Board Director said the store was keen to take part:

“We want to be involved in the community and work with the other retailers to promote the town. Commercially, I want to show all the fabulous products we have in the store and bring in new customers.

“Events like this show people what we’re good at. I think we need to work with our competitors and if people visit Harrogate, see great stores and great customer service, then it will bring them back.”

The hope is for the Harrogate Celebration of Fashion to return in 2024.