Manchester Ranked Number 12 In The New York Times ’52 Places to Go in 2024’

Manchester Press

With its ‘gritty soul’ and rich history in music and the arts, Manchester is being celebrated as a leading cultural hub in the UK. The city is undergoing a period of exciting change and harnessing its creative talent pool to develop new districts that embody the spirit of the North.
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Founded in Manchester in 2017, JOLIE has been a pioneer in many of the groundbreaking projects that have helped put Manchester on the map as a city encapsulating its creative heritage and using this to transform its landscape.

“It’s incredible to see Manchester’s identity as an innovative, creative destination being recognised by The New York Times! Last year, we saw Chanel host their Métiers d'art show in the city, which really captured the effervescence of Manchester’s musical heritage and the creative talent that continues to reach a global audience today,” says Sarah Wakefield, Creative Director at JOLIE, “There’s a certain humble Northern soul that emanates from the creative community in Manchester but humble as it may be, it’s so impactful it can truly stand the test of time and cement itself in the history books.

There’s a bold approach that dares to do things differently and I think this is something we definitely embody at JOLIE. Our sensory-led, scientifically-backed designs have been game changing within not only Manchester’s design community but on a far wider scale. We look at ‘the invisible aesthetic’ of a space and capture each of the senses to create designs that are truly timeless and connect with people on a personal level. There is often reference to the togetherness and friendliness of people in the North and it could be said that this is something prevalent in our work. The people who use our spaces are at the core of everything we design; far more so than the aesthetics alone, which is something quite rare within the interiors world.”

Nestled in the epicenter of Manchester’s creative community, the Northern Quarter is home to JOLIE’s Manchester studio.

We could have started the business anywhere but we chose Manchester because we felt there was a really tight-knit community here,” says Franky Rousell, JOLIE’s Founder and CEO, “Having worked in Manchester previously, there was a lot of great support from close business peers who were really rooting for us. There was never a feeling of hesitation from people to help us out in any way they possibly could and we’ve always found our network has been so empowering, supportive and willing to give advice whenever we have needed it. I think this represents this real Manchester attitude where there’s a true sense of home and community."

"Manchester typically has a history of being a really creative, open-minded city and some great talent has emerged as a result," continues Rousell, "It’s a very innovative place and I think if you come to Manchester and base yourself in the middle of it all, understand the different areas and the people that are here, it’s really apparent that there is a profound relaxed sense of creativity; where nobody is overly judged. There isn’t a set of rules of how to be creative, you’re just allowed to express yourself and I think it’s an amazing environment to be in as a business. It allows us to adapt quickly, try new things; and the thriving creativity of Manchester is something that really drives us forward to be different and stand out in a very crowded marketplace. 

If I had to sum up Manchester in 3 words, I would definitely use tenacious, innovative and revolutionary. 

At JOLIE, we’re really excited to see the connectivity of the city that already exists within Manchester play out into our future projects; and inspire our growing global client base with the tenacity, innovation and revolutionary attitude that we embody as a design practice.”

See the full New York Times ’52 Places to Go in 2024’ list here.

written by
Jessica Gjini

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