10.2.10

TEAM TOPSHOP



(Congrats to the winner of my Valentines competition, Ella Rose! Thanks for all of your entries. I'd also like to give a special mention to Rebecca, The Clothes Horse, Freelancers Fashion Blog & Dusky Ledoux, for your especially lovely comments. If I were the polygamous type and, um, had more prizes, you'd all be my Valentines! ♥)

My boyfriend's mum always keeps fashion articles from newspapers for me, in case they're any use for uni projects etc. Her latest offering was an article from The Guardian's Style section which got under my skin so much that, naturally, I just had to come on here and vent! A little birdy tells me that Topshop HQ were pretty peeved about it too.

The article is by Jess Cartner-Morley, entitled 'Dear Topshop'. It is, essentially, a piece about high street/online stores that are (in Jess's opinion), having a moment. Sounds fine to me! What isn't fine is the way she has begun this piece with a letter to Topshop, 'dumping' it, in favour of these 'new stars'. The intro reads, "The love affair is over. Jess Cartner-Morley bids a sad farewell to an old favourite and reveals the new stars of the high street". (This is what it says in the printed article, the online version differs slightly).

I mean, it's a funny idea in theory, but her argument for dumping Topshop in favour of erm, Oasis (and New Look, Asos & River Island) is really very weak. It just seems like she is dissing Topshop for the sake of it. Using Topshop as a means to liven up what would otherwise be a pretty run-of-the-mill article. If you're going to take on Topshop, you should at least make a convincing argument and have a bit of conviction.

So what is her argument? She says, "I remember when shopping at Topshop was a guilty pleasure, a secret that most people wouldn't understand. But all that changed when Kate Moss came on the scene. These days everyone knows, and all that excitement seems like another lifetime... Also, a girl needs to feel special, and it's hard to keep up a meaningful ­relationship when every shopping date is shared with approximately half of all the female tourists under 40 in the city at that time."

I've got to say, people belly-aching about how popular Topshop is is one of my pet hates. I know I'm biased as I work for Topshop and am in a bit of a Topshop bubble, but I enjoy the challenge of buying clothes from there and making them look different from the other thousand people who own the same top/dress/jacket. It’s that old saying, it’s not what you wear, it’s how you wear it. It couldn’t be truer. These girls are all wearing a Topshop piece, but do they look like Topshop clones? It’s a question of personal style.



(Style Bubble, Lookbook.nu & Cheapskate Chic)

At the end of her letter to Toppers, in big bold letters it says, "WHERE TO GO INSTEAD". It's that line that is the worst part for me, and detracts from what is, in fairness, quite a funny piece. Actually telling people to not shop there anymore has turned the tone of her jesting letter into actually being anti-Topshop which is a pretty bold move. Like I said, it wouldn’t be so bad if she’d actually based it on something other than ‘everyone goes there’.

River Island and New Look are renowned for having a bit of a ‘If you can’t beat ‘em, copy ‘em!’ attitude when it comes to Topshop anyway! Jess has tried to play these shops off against Topshop, which can’t be done... It isn’t just a high street store is it? It’s the only brand of its kind that show at Fashion Week, it funds new designers, it allows those designers to show at Fashion Week in its showspace… Writing it off because ‘everyone else shops there’ is just ludicrous. As is suggesting somewhere like Oasis could even come close to that.

Sorry for getting on my high(street) horse about this one, but careless journalism irks me, especially when it comes to one of the UK’s most important brands. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not Topshop’s number 1 fan. I don’t like the Kate Moss stuff (or Kate Moss for that matter), I can barely afford Topshop stuff even with my 25% discount and shopping at the flagship store requires physical and mental strength I could only dream of possessing. But I respect their place in the fashion industry and that can’t just be written off in such a flippant way in the name of promoting other high street stores. The clue is in the name, and love it or hate it, in terms of the high street hierarchy, Topshop will always be exactly that.

What do you think of the article in question? Am I overreacting..? I am feeling pretty hormonal today!

xo

21 comments:

  1. I like Topshop an awful lot but I do think that their clothes are over-priced for what they are.

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  2. If I could afford topshop, I'd love it more! Haha.

    Congrats to the winner! x

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  3. Like you said, it's not what you wear it's how you wear it.

    However, when I see A MILLION people wearing EXACTLY THE SAME outfit it does make me feel tired of shopping on the high street. It also makes me realise most people just wear what is 'on trend' rather than what they want to wear and what looks good on them.

    Esp. in student orientated towns/cities, you'll find people don't really put their own mark on outfits - they just buy it and wear it, using the displays in windows to dictate how they fashion certain clothing items.

    I love Topshop but anything I buy from the high street I'm wary of. In relation to the article tho., how can you even begin to compare Topshop to say, New Look?

    And if I see another person wearing one of those STUPID animal hats I'm going to rip it off their head and stomp on it! Seriously, when everybody and their mum is wearing something it's time to reconsider..

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  4. Woops. Bit of a rant there.. Sorry! x

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  5. It does sound like a bit of a crappy article...maybe she'd have more of a point if she was encouraging us all to buy vintage or from independent sellers. I must echo what a couple of people said though, I can rarely afford Topshop prices. It's not that they're completely ridiculous but often the price doesn't seem to represent the quality. I always find Topshop pieces inspiring though.

    And Oxford St during January....I always end up feeling like I'm going to have an emotional breakdown!

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  6. Hi Gem

    I totally agree with you about Topshop prices they have totally gone up in the past few years for some strange reason!! If they brought them down a touch I think they would have much more people shopping in there including students etc etc!

    BUT I will always stay loyal to River Island gem!! They pay mine, Peteys, Sophie and Hans wages!!!

    Loving your ranting blogs!

    And congrats to the valentines winner
    xxx

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  7. shes clearly got her knickers in a twist.

    what's the betting that shes a middled - aged woman, with a middle - age spread, going through a midlife crisis because a) she has realised she doesnt actually fit into Topshop clothing anymore and b) she would look like a right muppet even if she did.

    i'm surprised they even published it in The Guardian tbh.

    where i live, Topshop is too weird, too indie, they would much rather look like clones from New Look.

    MUPPETS

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  8. The UK high street would not be the same without Topshop. I think a lot of people feel that it has made clones out of a lot of folk but to honest it is all about what you buy and how you chose to wear it.
    Thanks for sharing honey.
    big kiss xx
    marian

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  9. Jennifer & Daisy - Yes I forgot to mention the prices in my 'things I don't like about TS' bit, have now added that point as I am totally with you on that one!

    Sophie - Loving the rant! Believe me, it's just as lame selling the same outfit to a load of people as it is seeing a load of people in it! :) Try not to let them bother you, because the fact that you can see that that's what's happening just proves that you're not a part of it and you're doing your own thing, which is awesome. Imagine being oblivious to your own lack of originality like some people?

    Please don't get me wrong, this post isn't condoning the vast amount of clone-like Topshop customers. And I do have a lot of issues with the whole mass consumption fast fashion thing, but that's a whole other can of worms for another rainy (or snowy!) day! I'm just trying to fight Topshop's corner in the context of the article which seemed to be saying 'go somewhere else instead' based on its popularity which is just a bit excessive.

    hello birdy - Great point about the fact it doesn't even suggest eco or vintage alternatives!

    Alice - Haha I know you're a River girl at heart. I've been toying with the idea of turning to the dark side and joining you guys after uni, because Hannah is my life and I want to be around her 24/7! Plus you River folk seem totally dreamy. As does staff shop. Lots to think about!

    City Girls Fashion Box - Haha that cracked me up!! She's actually the Fashion Editor so I'm sure my post is some kind of career suicide (I want to be a journalist!) I totally agree that Topshop is getting a lot more 'weird' in the eyes of most people. I never see chavs there when I'm at work so that can only be a good thing.

    Marian - Exactly. :)

    xo

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  10. OH i can't stand people who don't like things that are popular - just for that reason! I totes agree!
    I think Topshop is a cut above all other high street shops for the reasons you mentioned! Especially since they support new designers!
    AND... (as you also said... I'm just regurgitating really) of COURSE ten people are going to look like clones if they buy the same garments and wear them in the same way. If you want to stand out, you have to wear stuff differently! Its alllll about your personal style!

    I would try to add some of my own opinion, but it's late and you said everything that i would ever have thought of :)

    xxxxxx

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  11. Dusky - The perfect comment! It's too late for me to debate anything right now, especially when I'm in a choc-induced stupour. So total agreement is all I could hope for in a comment. THANK YOU! Haha! ♥

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  13. I'm surprised that she didn't mention, er, H&M? H&M reign SUPREME on the high street stakes for me, hehe :p

    and it's good to have a tipple with you again (OMG I"M NOT LEGLESS SHOCK) sooo looking forward to next week where I will more than likely be legless, haha x

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  14. I completely agree with what you say. It's not what you wear, it is how you wear it. The clothes are just the building blocks that make the outfit and the look. Topshop has a great selection of building blocks and I like to combine these with stuff from other shops and more unusual boutiques. I guess that if I only shopped at Topshop, then I would get bored, variety is the spice of life.

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  16. If that article annoyed you, wait until you read the one in the telegraph completely making a mockery of Alexander McQueen and the entire fashion industry for acting as though we have lost some one really worth while, and saying that McQueen wasn't and we should stop acting like we've lost someone who could be compared to Oscar Wilde.

    Now that got me fuming!

    xxxx

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  17. WTF? That's hideous! Thanks for telling me about it, that's another writer on my shit list now! What a tosser.

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  18. My thoughts exactly, i was able to read half of it then had to stop myself, as i was getting too angry x

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  19. Great post, as a fellow employee, I agree that it is what you make of it. I tend to buy nice pieces when it's uniform, but basics or sale bargains most of the time and I combine it with vintage or stuff bought from other stores. I know the majority of customers (and probably this writer) will buy head to toe Topshop and wear little else, but this can happen in any store. I do think that other shops are stepping up their game with collaborations and the like, but Topshop has really been the pioneer in so many ways.

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  20. i always read this lady's columns and maybe the article was prompted by the way topshop is so young right now! i'm not being ageist but topshop does seem to style for a very specific girl nowadays and i myself and feeling further away. i think other retailers are just stepping up the mark and like you said, topshop reigns supreme but other retailers are pumping out garments that really rival topshop. for me it's the price, i can't afford it either! especially when there's a twin in newlook and even primark too. but i don't shop in primark anymore and barely on the uk highstreet because people are looking the same, but only people people are demanding the same. it's like a few girls will be brave enough to wear a croptop out for example and then every other girl must follow and the more that do, the more that are comfortable to make that purchase. i think topshop is blamed in thsi article for pioneering the major trends that is making fashion quite monotonous, but it's only because the public want it! there's such tunnel vision for topshop though, like if you went shopping you would never skip topshop but maybe sometimes you leave oasis or mango because their items aren't 100% on trend, up to date and attractive. my problems with topshop recently is that almost all items are geared towards making you look attractive and dresed up, almost like boy friendly or fashion forward so you establish yourself as a london fashionista. like girls look the same nowadays because the popular looks are so accessible and fine for everyone, it's not as daring. i think jessica has the london opinion though, because if you go to manchester the main brands are river island and primark, so you could write the same letter. i like how she's promoting mixing up your wardrobe and not going to topshop, buying a safe outfit that you know is fashionable, cute and attractive, and wearing it how every other girl is. because the rest of the uk is doing this too much, topshop is like xfactor, it has too much dominance!

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  21. lol i love this little rant ^^
    topshop's got a bit pricey for me too atm, but i still love it :) x

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Thanks for commenting! ♥