Step back in time and celebrate the 50’s with M&S

From mods and rockers to beatniks and teddyboys, the Marks & Spencer Company Archive in Leeds is calling on locals to step back in time to the 1950s and relive the decade known for rock and roll, colour television and Christian Dior’s “New Look” at a special event this coming Saturday.

Drawing from the Archive’s extensive collection of clothing and multimedia, the free event will celebrate the sights, sounds, fashions and innovations of the era, charting the retailer’s role in bringing high fashion to the High Street.

Some of the items set to be on display will include never-been-seen period dresses and lingerie as well as original 1950’s cinema adverts.

Visitors will also have the opportunity to take part in Rock ’n’ Roll dance classes with Swing Dance Leeds and the best 1950’s dressed will be in with the chance to win a £50 gift card.

Katharine Carter, M&S Company Archivist, said:

“The 1950s was a great era for innovative technology, fashion and pop culture, so I’m thrilled we can use the Archive to transport visitors to this amazing period in history.

“I’m excited to showcase some items that we have never had on display before at the Archive, including period adverts and some fabulous M&S fashions inspired by catwalk looks of the time.

“We welcome everyone to come along to the archive on Saturday, and even better if you can come in 50s inspired dress.”

Visitors can drop in to the Company Archive at The University of Leeds throughout the day, with activities taking place 11am – 3pm. For more information, visit

The M&S Company Archive has a collection of over 70,000 historic items and was unveiled at the University of Leeds’ Michael Marks Building in March 2012.

A permanent exhibition, celebrating the role that M&S has played in peoples’ lives since 1884, is available at the M&S Company Archive in Leeds.

The exhibition charts the development of the iconic British retailer from its roots at Kirkgate Market to the present day.

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