Nestled among the hustle and bustle of the city in the Northern Quarter, is a unique boutique that has been weaving dreams for over 15 years.
Kiku Boutique, with its delicate lace and intricate corsets, has become a haven for those in search of bespoke and luxurious attire.
It’s a place where fashion meets art, and the stories behind each garment are as intriguing as the pieces themselves.
Lynn McKay, the creative force behind Kiku Boutique, guides the shop with a passion for crafting elegant clothing that transcends the ordinary.
Lynn, from Salford, taught herself to sew and create these elegant masterpieces growing up in her bedroom.
A small operation driven by word of mouth, they have created a quality reputation for making unique and beautiful work built to order.
“We’ve been going for 15 years now, creating beautiful bespoke corsets and lingerie in the city.
“We are a bit of an antithesis to fast fashion. People come in for a consultation, measurements and we can pretty much create anything that pops into the customer’s head.”
Before her venture into the world of bespoke corsets and lingerie, Lynn spent 16 years at Afflecks Palace, a renowned hub for alternative fashion in the city.
Handmade, Unique Creations
At Kiku Boutique, a remarkable 95 per cent of the merchandise is handmade, either by Lynn herself or her talented friend, Sadia.
Each creation is a labour of love, designed to fit the wearer perfectly or to bring their unique vision to life.
“We make everything from scratch, often using expensive fabrics like silk
“What we try to do here is transform a blank canvas into almost anything, with the understanding that the creation should align with our shop’s ethos.
“It’s not merely about fashion; it’s about crafting items that possess a distinct charm, meant to seamlessly integrate into one’s wardrobe for years to come.
“The objective is to distance the boutique from the throwaway culture of fast fashion, favouring instead the creation of enduring and cherished pieces.
“We cater to those with a specific style in mind, welcoming individuals who appreciate the uniqueness of the work,” Lynn shared.
Dressing Up Adventures
The boutique specialises in corsetry, turning the idea of ordinary day-to-day wear into a dressing-up adventure.
But it’s not just corsets that grace the shelves of Kiku Boutique. “It’s more of a dressing-up box than your regular sort of day-to-day wear,” Lynn notes.
Their collection also includes delicate silk lingerie and vintage Japanese kimonos, some repurposed into stunning, one-of-a-kind pieces.
“Sometimes we reuse the silk from the Japanese kimonos to make clothing as well,” Lynn adds.
The process of creating these exquisite pieces is as individualised as the garments themselves. “The more elaborate corsets usually involve multiple fittings and discussions,” Lynn explains. The process is a collaborative journey, one that can take anywhere from four to six weeks.
This flexibility has endeared Kiku Boutique to performers like drag queens and burlesque artists who often require rapid turnarounds.
“We do quite a lot for drag and burlesque performers,” Lynn mentions. Davina DeCampo and Cheddar Gorgeous are just a couple of the famous names who have donned Kiku Boutique’s creations.
Kiku Boutique has carved its niche in the world of alternative fashion, reflecting a commitment to creating enduring, personalised pieces.
“It’s not about fast fashion that people throw away after a few wears,” Lynn emphasises. The boutique’s ethos centres on producing garments that are quirky and individual, designed to be cherished and worn year after year.
The unique experience of shopping at Kiku Boutique has garnered loyal customers who appreciate the craftsmanship and the chance to collaborate on their distinctive attire.
“A lot of people walk in, and they don’t get it,” Lynn says.
“People are so used to fast fashion, walking into somewhere, buying something, wearing it a few times and throwing it away. And we’re completely the opposite.”
As the boutique celebrates its 15-year milestone, it’s clear that Kiku Boutique is more than just a shop; it’s a testament to creativity, individuality, and timeless elegance.
They have just won an incredible £10,000 advertising package, courtesy of Square.
Asking Lynn what it meant to win this prize, she said: “Winning this prize means the world to me!
“High street shops have been so badly hit and it’s such a struggle to survive.
“Most Town centres are so homogenised it’s great to promote micro-businesses that make it more interesting to visit the city. I want to give customers a different, more personal shopping experience.”
Lynn McKay and her team have masterfully woven their passion into every stitch, making Kiku Boutique a true gem in the heart of Manchester.
Here’s to many more years of sartorial magic and personal style.
You can check out some of the incredible work of Lynn and her team by visiting their Etsy shop here
Kiku Boutique has clinched a prestigious advertising package courtesy of Square, the global technology company known for simplifying commerce and financial services for businesses worldwide.
This exclusive competition, “Reel Manchester,” offered three lucky local business owners in Manchester the chance to win an extraordinary advertising package worth £10,000.
The prize includes professionally produced advertising videos and images to boost their local visibility, showcased across various media platforms and iconic locations throughout the city centre.