If you thought Topshop was dead, it’s time to think again

Written by Naomi May

Topshop-lovers the world over, rejoice! The high-street label has a new look, a new vibe and it’s better than ever.  

At one point in time, you could divide the world firmly into two camps: those who shopped at Topshop and those who didn’t.

What started in 1964 as a small section in the basement of a store in Sheffield called Peter Robinson, conceived by Raymond Montague Burton, quickly became the shining star of the British high street. At its peak in 2005, Topshop’s parent company, Arcadia, recorded £1.8 billion in sales and nearly £326 million in profits – up 10% from the year prior.

For millennials, Topshop’s presence on the high street cemented its status as more than just a shop – it became a social currency. Weekends would be spent whirling in its new-in designs, sipping milkshakes while blinking at your crush and dreaming of the adult life that you were on the precipice of being inducted into. 

Kate Moss, pictured in 2006, had a long-standing relationship with Topshop.

It’s precisely for this reason – Topshop’s relevance to 00s popular culture – that when the brand went into administration in late 2020 following accusations of harassment levied against Phillip Green, its CEO, the internet became flooded with odes and paeans to what was and what will never be again.

But Topshop, it appeared, was a phoenix rising from the ashes. When e-tailer Asos purchased the brand in February 2021, questions and queries were sent into overdrive. Would it look like the Topshop we loved and lost? The answer, after almost two years of team-building, strategising and curating, is yes.

Topshop has a new look and a whole new vibe.

Having recently unveiled its new ‘visual identity’,  Topshop, despite its new virtual home, is the old Topshop we knew and loved. Not only is its most recent collection, all pumpkin spice tones and shimmering, twinkling dresses, the most size-inclusive Topshop collection to date but every image and design looks like old Topshop. For Topshop-ophiles who had resigned the brand to memory, the news will be a cause for celebration.

“At its height, Topshop brought together high street and high fashion to become a defining voice in British style,” says Vanessa Spence, Topshop’s design and visual director. “We’ve taken the most iconic and popular Topshop pieces, from its denim to its dresses, and updated them for now with a renewed focus on fit and quality across all collections. This is the first step on a new journey for Topshop and, for me, it’s the road ahead that’s exciting now.”

Whether it becomes the hub of the high street, virtual or otherwise, remains to be seen, but one thing’s for sure: Topshop is absolutely not dead.

Shop Topshop here.

Images: Getty; Topshop

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