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31 Accent

11-20 Queens Arcade, Briggate, Leeds

Who you need to know

Owner Martin Schneider (left)

Brands include Barbour, Belstaff, Edwin, J Lindeberg, Luke, Lyle & Scott, Nudie, Original Penguin, Replay, Scotch & Soda, Ugg Australia

As one of the country’s most respected denim retailers, Accent has been instrumental in building brands such as Replay and Diesel.

Owner Martin Schneider says: “I first bought Replay when it was just a shirting brand and Diesel before it had denim. We are the longest-running independent [in the UK] with Replay; we’ve stocked it for 27 years non-stop and Diesel for 25 years.”

Accent was also one of the first stockists of G-Star in the late 1990s when the brand only offered raw denim. “I really liked the collection so I stocked it for five seasons without making any money on it. Then it brought in a washed jean and it really took off. Now we sell 5,000 pieces a season,” says Schneider.

As well as the established denim labels, Accent is also working with premium brands such as J Brand, Denham and Natural Selection.

Accent menswear was set up in 1984, followed by a womenswear store six years later - both in Leeds’ Queens Arcade. In 1992, a kidswear section, Accent Junior, was added to the menswear store. To illustrate the depth of product offered by both stores, the men’s denim wall carries more than 150 styles and the women’s more than 80.

Accent’s online store www.accentclothing.com, which was launched in 2008, is still “a work in progress”, says Schneider. “We have a very successful bricks-and-mortar business and people come from all over the place to see what we do with denim. The challenge [for 2011] is to translate the in-store atmosphere to the website and get the [online] turnover up.”

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