An iconic clothing store chain that has now disappeared from our high streets was once THE place in Manchester to meet friends or a date.

In the days before online shopping, the Chelsea Girl store was the trendiest place to shop for the latest fashions. Founded in 1965, it was the UK’s first chain of fashion boutiques and quickly became the object of dreams for teenage girls and young women.

In the hectic 1960s, women’s fashion developed a new identity. Miniskirts, A-line dresses and floral jumpsuits were the sartorial statements young women were looking for and Chelsea Girl aimed to offer fashion-forward fashion at affordable prices for everyone.

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With bold colours, patterns and new-age attitudes towards womenswear conjured up by leading designers like Mary Quant, boutiques were soon popping up across the UK. In Greater Manchester, there were a number of stores, including in Bury and Oldham, but by far the most recognizable was the store that opened on Piccadilly in Manchester.

Close to Debenhams, the store stood out with its boldly designed facade reflecting cutting-edge clothing, dynamically displayed by the mannequins perched in its highly polished windows. The Chelsea Girl store in Piccadilly was so recognizable that it soon became THE hangout for the youngsters of the city.


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