The Hip Store: Matthew Mercer Q&A
We are meeting up with independent menswear stores across the UK including The Hip Store in Leeds, where we met Matthew Mercer.
Throughout the summer months, we’ll be meeting up with some of the best and most well-known independent menswear stores across the United Kingdom to discover more about the what makes them unique and stand-out in the world of men’s apparel.
This summer, we met with Matthew Mercer from The Hip Store in Leeds. We discuss what makes the store unique and its influence around the North of the UK, as well as their favourite pieces from Barbour Beacon’s collections.
Tell us a little about yourself and what you do in your spare time:
I'm Matt, I'm a full-time member of staff at The Hip Store and have worked here for roughly two and a half years. I'm from Southampton originally and moved up to Yorkshire about three years ago, so I spend a lot of my time still exploring my surroundings. There's always something new to do or to discover in Leeds.
Tell us more about The Hip Store and its influence on menswear around Leeds and the United Kingdom:
Hip Store is a Leeds institution, without a doubt! We stock some of the most well-renowned brands from around the world and put them into the hands of the everyday man or woman. It's been at the forefront of streetwear for a very long time. I had such a memberable visit to The Hip Store five or six years ago when I moved up to Yorkshire, and I just knew I had to work in the store! It leaves a mark on you, we've got our own retail style here.
What’s your day-to-day like?
Day to day is about what you'd expect however every day must start with a coffee, something Leeds has in abundance! We have a lot of regular customers who the guys have been helping for years, long before I joined the team and it's always nice to see familiar faces. After work I’ll head back to my home in Huddersfield, cook with my girlfriend and catch up about our day. An occasional evening in our local pub is a must too!
What’s your favourite thing about working at The Hip Store?
Hip Store is one of the originators of modern menswear, being able to say I'm a part of it is pretty cool. Working here has opened my eyes to way more than I could imagine from a fashion point of view. The OG staff are fountains of knowledge for us all, so it's a win-win situation.
How do you like to escape from the busy city life?
I live outside Leeds in Huddersfield, so I don't spend all my time in the city. It's nice to go back to some peace and quiet after a full day in the hustle and bustle of the city. I like visiting places around Leeds; Hebden Bridge and Saltaire are beautiful spots to visit and unwind, and they are full of history too.
If you have a particular hobby, we’ve love to hear more about it:
Our photographer has got me hooked on film photography, so I've been dipping my toe into that recently. It's going to take a bit of time, but I plan on dedicating my days off to that for a little while. I’m really looking forward to it.
The new Barbour Beacon brand reinvents the rich Barbour heritage and DNA for a younger generation, what do you think it is about the brand that people love so much?
Barbour has stood the test of time, I think people can appreciate that. I admire that although companies have to reinvent themselves to changing markets, this hasn't stopped Barbour catering to their customer who wants a Classic Wax Bedale Jacket, but also to the younger guy who wants a nice overshirt for a night out. It's great how everyone is included.
What is your favourite Barbour Beacon piece from the collections you have seen so far?
The Bowhill Parka Jacket in the semi-transparent white is a head turner. A nice simple hooded jacket but with that little bit extra to get people excited about it.
What excites you about the future Barbour Beacon collections?
I'm excited to see how Barbour Beacon continues to create more contemporary pieces, with a hint of heritage that Barbour is known for.
What elements of the Barbour Beacon brand and collection do you think will engage with a younger generation?
The younger generation is wanting to buy into a brand, not just a specific piece. Barbour has the pedigree to engage with them and keep them interested. Barbour Beacon can offer them something more aligned to their taste. Contemporary designs with a trusted brand, you can't go wrong!
Discover the Barbour Beacon Pre-AW19 collection here.