While in the past I've struggled to make it to the 10 a.m. Carolina Herrera show, on this particularly sunny and bright, albeit cold, Tuesday morning, I found myself in good spirits—and on time—for a 9 a.m. press conference. The host? Sir Philip Green. The subject? The highly-awaited opening of his first American Topshop flagship on April 2 at 478 Broadway in SoHo (the brand celebrates its 30th anniversary in July). "We're here for the long game," the jolly fashion force said to a group of gathered journalists at the Gramercy Park Hotel. The New York store will be Topshop's first non-franchised store outside of the UK.
Causing perhaps the most excitement among the countless racks of clothes on display were those summer pieces designed by Kate Moss premiering in a few months (a few looks featured in the picture attached). For this go-around, Moss and Topshop collaborated with Liberty of London on a series of prints and fabrics. Needless to say, they were delightful and I can only imagine the screaming tweens' reactions already. What's more, Green confirmed that Ms. Moss will join him for the April 2 debut, where will launch in the U.S. and the UK on the same day.
Having spent just north of $20 million for the store and opening, the retailer admittedly hit its own share of problems as its initial launch date quickly came and went. Unaccounted for permits and a fire were just a few of the obstacles encountered along the way, but the 30,000-square-foot emporium appears to be on solid footing. So much so that Green talked about opening a second store in New York, not to mention in Las Vegas, Boston, Miami and Los Angeles. "We're not going to be aggressive," he said of his ultimate plan to have 12-15 stores nationwide. "We don't need to be."
Good news for those collectors of collector's items: Topshop will make available in New York exclusive collections designed by London brands Preen and Jonathan Saunders (both of which, incidentally, showed during New York Fashion Week a few days ago). The picture seen here is one of the dresses Saunders designed exclusively for Topshop. Green added that Christopher Kane, Emma Cook and Peter Jensen will all have their go with exclusives for the SoHo store.
Naturally, an aggressive marketing campaign is in the works, but with a twist. According to a Topshop rep, the company will initiate a series of wild postings as well as what is being described as a "subway station domination." The Broadway at Houston Street station—where the 4, 5, 6, B, D, F and Q lines come through—will feature wall-to-wall Topshop ads in celebration of the debut.
was born in Brussels, Belgium and grew up in Paris before moving to New York City. For the past four and a half years, Shi was fashion news editor of IMG's fashion and media industry publication The Daily and editor of its sister web site, Fashion Week Daily. He has covered Fashion Weeks in New York, Milan, and Paris.
PHOTOS BY PATRICK MCMULLAN