Where would we be without Topshop? Well in my case, having spent most of my mid-to-late teens in their local store instead of in my A-level classes, probably somewhere with much better qualifications. Distractions and procrastinations aside, Topshop is, for most girls, our first introduction to “grown up” fashion. Topshop is the cool girl from the year above who leads us away from our innocent, girlish denim skirts and t-shirts and introduces us to skinny jeans, must-have dresses and just about every trend that stomps down the catwalk.
Since their humble beginnings in 1964, Topshop has grown to become a high street giant. With over 300 stores around the UK (a high street without Topshop is really not worth visiting), and an extensive online store, there is no excuse to not have a piece of Topshop in your life. Their flagship Oxford Circus store is legendary, with fashion lovers flocking from around the world to visit. With over three floors of fashion, you could happily get lost here for a day…or two…or three.
Originally part of the Sheffield branch of department store Peter Robinson, Topshop is now part of the Arcadia Group which includes Dorothy Perkins, Miss Selfridge and Burtons and is controlled by Sir Phillip Green. The first standalone store was opened in 1970, the same year that they launched spin-off brand Topman for male consumers. In more recent times Topshop has worked hard to establish itself as more than just a high street store by showcasing their Topshop Unique collections at London Fashion Week, collaborating with industry heavyweights and supporting emerging talent in partnership with NEWGEN.
The key to Topshop’s success is providing solutions to all manner of fashion problems, all in one store. From the purse friendly range of basics, offering sweaters, vest tops, t-shirts and dresses, to the designer collaborations and a vast accessories collection, there is plenty to keep even the pickiest of shoppers spoilt for choice. Season after season Topshop take catwalk trends and translate them into savvy purchases for us ordinary folk.
True shopaholics will know that shopping isn’t all about the purchases; there is the planning, preparation and research to consider. Topshop’s online presence makes this simple with feeds on Tumblr and Instagram, fashion films on YouTube, style Q&As and a blog full of Topshop news and style inspiration.
Let’s hope Topshop continues to be a haven for style savvy women, I’m not sure quite what would fill the hole in our hearts if it was suddenly no longer there. So follow their blog, like them on Facebook and take advantage of their discounts but whatever you do, don’t take out a Topshop card; that, my friend, is the beginning of the end for your bank balance.
By Samantha Vandersteen