#Blogtober 16: Independent Designers at Hannah Zakari (Grassmarket, Edinburgh)

I love independent shops. There’s nothing like buying a one-off piece that you won’t see on anyone else, and the fact something has been created with care by an individual rather than in a factory production line really makes me happy to own it. The thing is, sometimes the one-of-a-kind unique items of clothing aren’t all that affordable. It’s all very well and good for me to say I buy almost all my “new” clothes from independent designers, but what if your budget is more thrift shop than boutique?

I’ve fallen in love with small accessories recently, something that was always an afterthought for me as I veered toward clothes and shoes. Oh boy do I have a lot of shoes. I even have a pair that have stacked macaroons for a heel, and a surprising amount of feline-inspired footwear. Give me glitter, give me sparkle, give me colourful patterns and anything Star Wars. I am not a subtle dresser.

I first discovered Hannah Zakari 花盛りa few years ago when my ex flatmate worked in the Grassmarket. The name comes from the Japanese word for “blossoming” or “blooming”, and was inspired by the owner’s love of Japan and its culture. Every item in the shop is designed or handmade by emerging designers and independent labels, and they are nothing like the standard issue high street offerings. I have seriously been complimented on every single piece of jewellery I have picked up from this shop, from my Batman-inspired resin “KAPOW” necklace to my Art Deco earrings and my selection of feminist slogan badges. Everything in this shop is quirky and beautiful and absolutely unique. Best of all, a lot of the pieces don’t cost much more than statement jewellery on the high street, and are much better quality.

I stopped in here a few days ago because I was early for a meeting, and somehow came out with a laser-cut terrarium necklace, a retro TV necklace, and a bunch of patches and pins to attach to my denim jacket.


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