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Inside the Culture: The Black Sheep

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We are starting a new series exploring the many cultural hotspots that help to form our identities from Skate shops to streetwear shops, food spots and more, the first feature comes from Manchester and it is a look at the Northern Quarters award winning Skate/streetwear shop the Black Sheep.   The Black Sheep is a skate and streetwear store based in the heart of the Northern Quarter in Manchester; originally called the Sheep Store in 1984, the brand had 3 locations including their very own skatepark, the Central Skatepark. The Blacksheep team are all skaters and have their own skate team boasting of having riders such as Andy Scott, Rik Cooper and others. Owner Harry took a break from the business in 2002 and on his return decided to merge all three stores into one bigger space in the City centre. Eight years years later and the Black Sheep store has become a key social hub for the skate community. What separates The Black Sheep from their competition is their unique spin on culture and fashion, keeping upto date with the demand for brands and always having the latest collections from Adidas, Altamont, Primitive, Thrasher, Brixton, Nike SB, Diamond, Eastpak, Emerica, Huf and Etnies. As well as the skate brands, the store stocks exclusive brands from the vintage hip-hop scene such as X-Large, a Japanese brand that has been revived from the 80s.  and streetwear brands that can be found in popular Shopping destinations such as Selfridges. By combining both skate and streetwear culture, the store has merged with the local community over the years, eventually becoming a big part of it. Being massive fans of the social media world, the Black Sheep keeps connected to their skate and streetwear family with networks such as Polyvore and Instagram. The team use fashion mood boards to explore and share their personal street wear, involving staff to showcase their outfits, sneakers and personal favorites from the many brands that they stock. All of this contributes to their customers getting to know The Black Sheep team better and becoming a part of its community. Another way that they interact with their community is with their popular Skateboard parties involving beer, friends and laughs.Black Sheep parties are never half-hearted, with massive supporters such as street artists PUMF and Swansky turning the store into a piece of street art free food and plenty of booze. One of the biggest things for The Black Sheep was the progression from the Skate Park to a root in the Northern Quarter, and that was mainly down to evolving and utilizing a space that would result in a growth within the community. And with this progression we can expect to see more from The Black Sheep as they plan to extend their presence in the city centre and become more active in the brand with more collections reaching the shelves.

Words: Nateisha Scott

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To visit the Black sheep and keep up with their journey contact them at: 28 Mason Street M4 5EY Manchester, United Kingdom Website: http://www.blacksheepstore.co.uk Email: contact@blacksheepstore.co.uk

Mr Trapped Magazine
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