Ryan Vintage, Leeds, is dubbed as the longest-running, best value vintage clothes shop in the town. We’re listening. It’s easy to see how loved it may be, given the accessibility and ease with which stock can be trawled through and picked up. It’s a big, centrally-placed spot, with lines of long surfaces full of piled-high clothing, including anything and everything, with no strict measure about what to include. As is typically the place with eclectic, open vintage spots, anything goes, and there truly is no rhyme or reason to the goods that turn-up in here week on week. You can guarantee, however, that you’ll always come off delighted with your find, not having known what transformative garment you were looking for, but finding it all the same. It’s a process that favours impulse as well as consideration, where immediate love for a piece combines with a thought-out and measured idea of how, where and when you might wear it.
It’s a source of difference for shopping, with an experience here including the unknown, and a venture into browsing for browsing’s sake, where browsing is not tailored to selecting a preconceived item but is instead synced to finding something new and unexpected, making it all the more special and meaningful. Putting the circumstances of vintage at the forefront like this, rather than, or as well as, the actual vintage itself, is rare, and the collective meeting of the two makes for products that combine good, quirky design with care and appreciation of what owning or wearing such a garment means, ticking all the vintage-themed boxes. It would be hard for anyone with a love for secondhand clothing and accessories to leave here purchase-free, given the range of goods on offer, so take your empty totes, stock-up, and spend a good while deliberating over what to leave and what to claim.