Is Topshop’s reign of the high street over?
TopShop used to be the creme of the crop when it came to high street fashion – affordable trends, accessible to all. All other high street offerings seemed to pale in comparison. Things are different now and I couldn’t help but agree with a recent article in The Guardian that our love affair with the high street giant seems to be coming to an end.
Everyone buys the same thing. If you stumble across something in TopShop that is perfect for you, the chances that hundreds of people who live/work near your local TopShop think the same is pretty high. I know high street isn’t supposed to be exclusive but it becomes less appealing to buy when you know others will have bought it too.
The clothes are no longer the on-trend additions to my wardrobe they once were. Before I’d be stuck for choice with clothes I could use to bring me into whatever season it was with trends reminiscent of whoever the hottest designer was that season. These days… not so much.
In many ways, Kate Moss has done nothing for Topshop’s relationship with the savvy fashionista (I like to consider myself one of those). It’s almost been a bit of a dumbing down really. The clothes photograph really well on her, but look a bit crap on the rest of us. We all know Kate Moss dresses well, but even she herself recognises that she is no designer.
Designer collaborations are one of the major attractive factors Topshop offers, managing to pull in young, fresh British designers (Ashish, Jonathon Saunders, the list goes on). This is as a result of their investment in young British talent – providing sponsorship and and on schedule space allowing selected designers to showcase their work. It’s this that is Topshop’s strength – the ability to identify great talent and bring it to the masses. It’s a good business move – buzz is created at London Fashion Week about these designers then soon after Topshop announces a collaboration with them (Christopher Kane, Mark Fast). Good for business, good for customers.
So I agree that my love affair with Topshop has cooled somewhat. These days, my high street hits are H&M, Cos and Zara. Supplemented by Primark, Asos and the occasional New Look purchase. However, our relationship is definitely not over and we could be getting hot and heavy again when these shoes hit the store…