Centre:MK celebrates 40th birthday with four decades of fashion


CMK Fashion hroes individual jpegs-03Centre:mk this month celebrates 40 years of trading and its status as a top 10 national shopping and leisure destination.

As part of a project called ‘Four Decades of Style – 1979 to 2019’ centre:mk has collaborated with fashion and culture expert and former Vogue Features Editor, Jo Craven, on a report which identifies fashion headliners and boomerang trends, as well as fleeting fads revealing the cyclical nature of four decades of fashion.

Analysing responses from 1,000 survey respondents and focusing on trends of the 70s, 80s, 90s and 00s, highlights included:


  • Over 40% of respondents chose the seventies as their most popular decade to revisit, whilst 29% wished they’d actually lived through it.
  • 27% thought power shoulder pads were a standout eighties trend.
  • 30% credited Princess Diana with having a huge influence on the way we dress today.
  • The mullet hairdo had 43% of respondents requesting it is banished.
  • 38% confirmed that Jennifer Aniston’s hair from hit TV show Friends was one of the most influential moments in fashion and beauty.

Jo Craven, former Vogue Features Editor, commented:“Four decades ago when centre:mk first opened mobile phones were a futuristic fantasy, the final episode of Fawlty Towers was aired on TV, Harry hadn’t even met Sally and Blondie’s Heart of Glass was Top of the Pops.

“40 years on, we may still be listening to Blondie, but the world has changed substantially. But it’s so much fun to identify the icons who still inspire us, the trends we still can’t quite believe were popular and the much-loved and surprise comebacks.”

Ed Sellick, asset manager, Hermes Investment Management, on behalf of centre:mk joint owners, added: “As trends have evolved, shopping behaviours have progressed alongside them, completely resetting the retail landscape for the industry throughout the last 40 years.Since centre:mk opened in 1979 we have always shown our commitment to working with the latest in-demand brands, to establish an offering that will provide a mixed and vibrant forward-focused experience for our customers.

“Hand-in-hand with our expert team, we have also worked with The Future Laboratory to identify a series of key consumer trends that will have significant impact on the future of retail and leisure destinations. It’s this type of industry research and knowledge which allows us to adapt to the changing pace of the industry and shows that we are continuing to embrace the everchanging shifts in behaviours that the future holds.”

To celebrate nostalgic, unforgettable moments, centre:mk is curating a pop-up exhibition dedicated to the last 40 years, covering the various fashion styles as well as people, retail, facts about the centre and much, much more. The event will be live in-centre from 25 September.

centre:mk shoppers will also be treated to a weekend of fashion fun at ‘Style Fest’ on 28 – 29 September, with catwalk shows, beauty demonstrations, panel talks and seminars all housed in the main event space Middleton Hall.

Kim Priest, head of marketing at centre:mk, said:“When we commissioned Jo Craven for our report, we didn’t expect it to start so many conversations across the generations – in particular, explaining the iconic status of the mullet in its time brought huge amusement.

“So many of the iconic trends from the last four decades keep on boomerang-ing back, season after season, and have resurfaced on the high street this AW19. This focus on reinvention is something we celebrate as a centre ensuring we stay as relevant as the latest boomerang trend.”

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