The whole country was excited the day that Topshop came to town. The night of the launch, Topshop opening in The Department Store made the 6:00pm news on both channels. Topshop’s arrival appeared in the newspapers, on every online media source, was blared from the radio stations and proclaimed by anyone else with a captive audience. It was big news. Why? Good question. Was it because for the first time, we New Zealanders were able to buy fast fashion? Well, no, we sort of have our own versions (Glassons, Hallensteins, Barkers, MAX etc), plus if we were extra-eager we could always buy online. Was it because Topshop comes from London and has that exotic appeal? Perhaps. Was it because Topshop is widely regarded as one of the world’s best one stop shops for fast fashion? Certainly. But was it really that newsworthy? Another good question. One thing was certain: an enormous PR coup was pulled off that day.
Since Topshop’s launch, I’ve been over to The Department Store about three times to check out the offering. When Topman arrived and the Men’s Department area opened up, I went again. I scanned the racks, tried on a couple of shirts and walked out with some socks (that Katherine paid for using a voucher).
My thoughts were the same as they’ve been every time I’ve set foot in a Topshop store, and I’ve done so in three different cities – Dublin, London and New York: the clothes are cheap, colourful, overdesigned and altogether too young for somebody of my age. The denim shirts had those elbow tabs to keep the sleeves rolled up, blazers had extra flaps of fabric hanging off the shoulders, as did my favourite piece – a quite beautiful, but overworked 100% wool navy duffel coat.
The latest email-out just landed in my inbox overnight with all the new Topman products arriving into store this week. Of the 47 new entries, there were two pieces that I might buy, both shown above – a blue knitted bowtie and a grey backpack.
I think if you’re a young dude (21 or under) looking for some fun, ontrend clothes, Topman is the place to go. If you’re an older guy looking for something a little more classic, stick with what you know, because, let’s face it – drop-crotch khaki pants probably aren’t for you.
It’ll be interesting to track Topman’s progress. Men are well-known to shop as little as they can get away with, particularly in a country like New Zealand. We haven’t had as ready access to fast fashion chains that rotate their entire offering on a near weekly basis like Topshop does. Your average male consumer will typically buy all his yearly clothing needs in one fell swoop. So whether or not Auckland has a large enough menswear buying population to sustain Topman remains to be seen.
But if you’re a teenage boy with an interest in fashion, Topman will have everything you could possibly need.
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