WITH a number of traditional High Street stores having gone online only ­— new retailers are moving in with a new range of products, not available online.

Bolton Market Emporium in the Market Place has become a shoppers' paradise, showcasing everything from fashion to make-up and even things for the home.

And among them, is a fashion influencer, who his playing a role in Bolton's very first fashion and lifestyle festival, which aims to showcase the town's textile roots and its role in fashion today.

Waqar Butt of Style Heist and Beauty Heist will be showcasing his winter collection, made up of brands from Italy at affordable prices.

After moving to Bolton in 2004 from Pakistan, Waqar bought Style Heist from its Canadian owners before bringing it to Bolton last year with brands from Italy creating affordable clothing.

But the 47-year-old didn’t stop there and in July, introduced Beauty Heist, a makeup and skincare store selling organic vegan skincare.

He said: “I saw Debenhams close so knew there was room for somewhere with skincare and organic s a niche and developing market.

“People want natural glowing skin, and our products have no chemicals in the. It’s healthier for skin.

Waqar said: “Just before the pandemic I came across the brand Style Heist which belonged to a Canadian owner, and I took over in 2020.

“I was looking to take my passion further so introduced the brand to retail in Bolton, starting the same day the Bolton Emporium opened.

“I want to be the face of the brand, I’ve worked in fashion for 12 years and my family background is in fashion too.”

Bolton Fashion and Lifestyle Festival takes place on Saturday, October 9 at Bolton Whites Hotel.

As part of the festival fashion students will design an outfit for Heather Small, the singer of M People and also designer to the stars Zeynep Kartal.

For more information on the festival and for tickets visit Facebook page Bolton Fashion Festival.