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Van Mildert, established in 1996, is a men's and women's fashion boutique located in the charming city of Durham. Housed in a historic Grade 1 listed building, an old 17th-century Gaol on Elvet Bridge leading to the city's cathedral, the store exudes character and charm. Visitors to the city would marvel at the unique retail space we had created, with 'Bob,' the tour guide, even including it on his itinerary. Van Mildert was a breath of fresh air, offering a new and exciting shopping experience within a space steeped in history.
As one of the pioneering independent lifestyle stores, Van Mildert brought a new level of directionality to the North East fashion scene. Previously, brands like Margiela, Dries Van Noten, Comme Des Garçon, Helmut Lang, and Costume National were only available in London. However, with Van Mildert, the region now had its own fashion haven, catering to the fashionistas' desires. The store showcased a curated selection of books from Atlas, vibrant home accessories from Atomic, and furniture from SCP, all set against the backdrop of the latest sounds from Rough Trade.
In addition, Van Mildert actively supported local artists, featuring their work and incorporating sculpture installations from art students and regional designers, creating a dynamic and immersive lifestyle concept. With knowledgeable and passionate staff, some of whom are still prominent figures in the industry today, customers would spend afternoons exploring the store, indulging in a truly unique and unforgettable shopping experience.