Topshop is back, but that’s not all Jamie Jeans & Kate Moss Collabs

Topshop is relaunching today. Great news, right? But you’d be forgiven for letting it slip under the radar as part of Asos’ digital shopping proposition. Now included among the online juggernaut’s 900 stored brands, Topshop and Topman at least have their own “storefront” or landing page to set them apart in the vast maze of offers and products. Banking on our nostalgia for the Toppers of yore and our deep affection for Jamie jeans, the new-look label beckons us with a mix of old brands and on-trend designs, as it attempts to redefine its position of authority. of fashion.

So you’ve navigated your way there. How does this virtual Topshop compare to browsing its Oxford Street flagship (a shopping mecca that has become the equivalent of a department store for teens and 20-somethings happy to waste hours in the maze of Boutique sections, Freedom and Tall/Petite, before scoring an Eat wand and maybe a piercing on the way out)? It’s a tough comparison.

Commercial and visual design director Vanessa Spence, who has worked at Asos since the ‘As Seen On Screen’ days and was the third person to join its design team, is overseeing the rejuvenation of one of Grande’s most beloved Britain – and ultimately unhappy – mass retail exports. It’s a gigantic job for someone with an eye on Asos’ entire product offering. No matter. Spence sees this as a bonus. “The beauty of having one person overseeing all the brands is that you can have very clear pathways: real definition and an idea of ​​what you want each of them to achieve,” he explains. -she.

So what is Topshop today? There’s a lot of talk about respecting heritage – the new logo recalls the shocking orange signage that set the store apart on any high street – while using Asos’ expertise in the digital shopping space to set the brand up to date for now. The words ‘fresh’, ‘evolutionary’, ‘innovative’ and ‘relevant’ match on our call, with Spence expressing the team’s excitement over the acquisition, rather than any immediate pressure to ensure this return. be a success.

The merger of former Topshop designers and the Asos team helped ensure that the DNA – along with the quality, fit and attention to detail – remained, according to Spence, who admits that ‘she too felt the thrill of riding down the Oxford Street escalators as a teenager. So much so that the escalators will appear in some images as a warning nod to those who used to yearn for the new campaign photos, featuring Jourdan Dunn, Sam Rollinson and Cara Delevingne, on the way down.

Strangely, then, there are no blockbuster visuals featuring London It-girls heralding Topshop’s return. No promise of future shows, which saw Kate and Lila Moss front row. Neither the prospect of collaborations (who’s still wearing their JW Anderson bomber?), nor even in-house creative stars (vogue‘s Kate Phelan was responsible for much of her authentic peak). “It’s a new chapter, a new journey to bring love and passion back to Topshop and Topman,” says Spence. Soft launch seems to be the key word.

Instead, Asos listened to its audience. Topshop will include a plus-size “curve” line for the first time and double down on its lofty sustainability initiatives (as a company, Asos aims to be “net zero by 2030”). Its regular product drops will be populated with bread-and-butter items, like denim (Jamie and Joni styles are making a comeback), dresses and tailoring, while apparel fits will differ from those of its now parent brand. . For example, “the It-vest of the season will be longer at Topshop and shorter at Asos,” says Spence, who wears one of said vests.

Whether that will be enough to differentiate the two high street powerhouses remains to be seen – if, indeed, you stumble upon Topshop 2.0 in its new home. The kids of the 2000s are rooting for this forgotten fashion leader, but the space is packed and we’ve already seen Topshop lose touch once.