Since its opening in 1964, UK label Topshop has been catering to generations of women who want to fill their wardrobe with the latest and most innovative fashion. With its reputation for producing youthful, inspiring designs that are always on trend and represent the very best of It-Girl fashion in London, few brands can claim to be as quintessentially English and recognisable around the world as Topshop. From humble beginnings, the brand is now a multinational seller and can boast over 500 retail stores around the globe as well as a thriving online presence that sees them sell to countries in every corner of the world. Along with a long list of celebrity endorsements and creative collaborations, this is one of the UK’s most loved and sought-after brands.
From its very beginning, Topshop has always been at the heart of British designer fashion and had its finger on the pulse of the latest trends in London. It was born in 1964, as an extension of the popular department store, Peter Robinson, that sold women’s fashion. It was within the Sheffield branch of this store that Peter Robinson’s Topshop was opened to the public and it introduced a fashion collection aimed at a younger generation of British youth. As such, the brand included designs by London’s newest and most exciting designers, such as Mary Quant and Stirling Cooper, whose daring and modern styles captured the essence of the Swinging Sixties in London and spoke directly to British teenagers and their evolving sense of contemporary fashion. As the brand’s popularity grew, they expanded to other stores around England and incorporated other designers such as French Connection, Radley Cooper and Jeff Banks.
By 1974, Topshop had been split from a declining Peter Robinson and developed into its own independent retail store catering towards the 13-24 age range. With over 55 stores open by 1978, the brand was considered hugely profitable and was gaining in popularity. This year also saw the opening of the first Topman, a brother to the brand aimed at young men’s fashion. During the 1990s, they became the UK’s first online store in fashion which positioned them as a leader in the developing world of online retail. Their continued sponsorship of London Fashion Week has also seen them cement their place in high fashion and has led to a long series of collaborations with models and designers.
The brand is among the most renowned UK labels to consistently work with popular designers to produce high fashion capsule collections. In 2007, Kate Moss collaborated with them on a hugely popular collection, followed closely by artist Stella Vine. Both sold out instantly. In 2014, Beyoncé released her much-sought after activewear brand called Ivy Park in collaboration with the UK label. As part of their campaigns over the years, the brand has employed some of the world’s most in demand supermodels, including Cara Delevingne, Gigi and Bella Hadid, Karlie Kloss and Taylor Hill.
Topshop successfully blends London street style with the latest trends in high-fashion. While the label initially targeted youths and young women, their range has become popular with women of any age, shape and budget. Their sizes embrace all types, from petites to tall and maternity wear. Special lines such as ‘Unique’ and the luxurious ‘Boutique’ ensure that there is an outfit to suit any person and any event that they wish to attend. Tops, dresses, basics, statement pieces, bottoms, shoes and accessories are just some of the vast range of items you can find from this versatile label. The brand boasts some of the most stylish and comfortable jeans on the market using a special pliable denim that sees them reportedly selling a pair every 10 seconds.
The brand’s philosophy is as notable as their must-have garments. They believe in the concept of affordable style and offering each and every customer the chance to put together an entire look that is both budget-friendly and completely their own. Self-expression is integral to the brand’s outlook on fashion. Their continuous support of both acclaimed and up-and-coming designers also contribute to the brand’s popularity as it bridges the link between high and low fashion and allows them to create unique, contemporary pieces that reflect the world we live in. In addition, the label openly supports a number of charities such as Fashion Targets Breast Cancer, Key to Freedom, Lady Garden and Future Voices, encouraging others to support and donate to important causes around the world and give back what they receive. In 2012, they also launched their Reclaim line, a collection of sustainably sourced and upcycled fashion made out of ethical fabric and the cut-offs from production lines.