First Look Inside Melbourne’s Topshop / Topman Flagship Store

| 7 December , 2011 | 2 Replies

Writing for Sassi Sam has to be the best job ever! This morning I got to take a sneak peek inside the brand new, first for Australia Topshop Topman flagship store! In the old Borders bookstore on Chapel Street located in Melbourne’s Jam Factory, the store is a little piece of UK fashion heaven deposited nicely on our doorstep. With amazing looks and styles for guys in Topman and everything a girl could want in Topshop – this store is going to become a fashion destination for all who shop Melbourne’s glamboyant streets.

For many girls, they may have been enjoying the Topshop experience for a while since they started online sales and deliveries to Australia. Indeed Topshop has been ‘must have’ on the ‘shopping’ agenda for any Aussie travelling to the UK. With that in mind, for those glamista’s who love Topshop – they are going to be driven wild by the amazing fashion as well as the very affordable prices. Shoes, accessories, handbags, lingerie, party dresses, makeup, everyday wear and more greet you as you walk into the store! Add to that Personal Shoppers, Makeovers, student discounts and instore DJs and the story really does deliver a ‘wow’ moment on every level.

“We are very excited about the imminent launch of TOPSHOP Melbourne in December, a city known for its diverse cultures and inspiring street style. I feel confident the TOPSHOP aesthetic will strike a cord with the effortlessly chic Australian market. We are working with our partner Hilton Seskin of Next Athleisure to create a dynamic space to house Topshop’s uniquely British shopping experience.”says Mary Homer, Managing Director for TOPSHOP.

Set across four levels, the entrance begins with Topshop, introducing you to the latest looks and trends to come out of Europe. Lucky me got to chat with both Gordon Richardson (Topman Design & Development Director) and Kate Phelan (Topshop Creative Director) who were both clearly excited about launching in Australia:

‘We just love the building and feel it really suits what we are all about’ Kate Phelan told me as we chatted about the store opening ‘the heritage building really suits the collections and we have really tried to bring to Australia what the fashion set are doing in London’.

Indeed, Topshop are presenting to Australia their very own collections, which their designers have created specifically for the store launch, which Sassi has already previewed here; Glam Rockette, Deco Grunge, Bavaria and Midnight Angel.

While there is no vintage in the store (those who have been to the Oxford High Street store may remember the brilliant range of vintage on offer), many of the creations have a vintage edge to them. Future collections will look to Australian designers for collaborations with this being something Phelan is clearly enthusiastic about:

‘We have really strong links with fashion and love working with Designers, we’ve done some great things in the UK with Mary Katranzou for Topshop and are really looking forward to doing something similar in Australia’.

For girls, you’ll be love the great vintage inspired party frocks and jumpsuits, whilst the sky high heels in all sorts of bright colors just scream fun! I was loving the rock and roll t’shirts with one with an AC/DC print particularly standing out to me. There’s distressed denim, bolero denim jackets, pleated skirts, bathers, maxi dresses, scarffs, sportswear, animal print, shoe-boots, platform trainers, leather and more to wet your fashion appetite. For those who can never find anything because they are too ‘tall’ or ‘short’ you’ll be loving the Tall and Petite sections which specifically cater to those over 5’7″ and under 5’3″. Lucky me had a personal shoppiong experience with Micah whom you may recognise as one of the faces of the L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival. For me, it had to be the 70s inspired black play suit and cape dress with a pair of stand out candy pink wedge heels! I wonder what it will be for you.

Gordon Richardson was clearly excited about the Topman launch in Australia and with that in mind I asked him what he thought of mens Australia fashion so far:

‘I spent yesterday just trawling really cool stores in Melbourne and was really surprise and excited about how many really cool looking guys there are’ he said adding ‘Melbourne guys are pretty cool with a slight irreverence to fashion, they mix styles and have this effortless look that just works. For the Australian Topman, we want to cater to these guys, so that they can wear Topman and look great and not like they have tried at all.’

Indeed for guys who hate shopping it seems Topman has to be the best place for them to head, with a personal shopping experience that includes beer, xbox and someone to do the shopping for you, you’ll be looking fantastic without any effort whatsoever whilst managing to leave the store with money in your wallet. Not only does the range look amazing but it’s also extremely well priced with cotton t’s starting from $14.99 and a suit jacket around the $180 price range!

‘It’s democratic fashion’ Richardson says ‘fashion from around the globe and in some cases Melbourne is getting it first! We’re launching Summer looks that haven’t been launched anywhere yet and in that way Australia is going to be a trend setter which is really exciting’.

With that in mind, I wandered the guys collection and was really taken by the use of color in jeans – green, red, purple and navy stood out. Topman is the kind of shop where you could walk in and walk away with something for every occassion – jeans, t-shirt and havaiana’s for hanging around, a full suit with waistcoat and stylish shoe for the races, or a pair of shorts and straw hat for hitting the beach.

The collections for Topman include:

  • Trawler – Nautical feeling but the look is no ‘regatta crisp\’. Slim jeans, Russian inspired chunky cable knits, peacoats and underwear inspired jersey. Very Soviet feel.
  • Trans Siberia – Fusion of folkloric patterns and print with modern techniques, shapes and silhouettes. Luxurious, slightly exotic in rich jacquards, soft wools, corduroy, shearling and faux fur with beaten up denims and drop crotch trousers.
  • AAA – This men\’s collection is the epitome of cool and was created to make you look and feel like a rockstar. Sophisticated detailing and specialized fabrics make it a luxurious range with a rebellious edge and has a huge celebrity following.
  • TOPMAN LTD – Sits alongside this main range with an added focus on fit, detail and fabrication. Created with a specific customer in mind that is more influenced by own individual sense of style. Understated in concept, timeless in quality and subtle in design. The bi-monthly limited edition collections are merchandised cohesively instore.

For those who are fashion conscious, they’ll be happy to know that Topman and Topshop have two deliveries a week with new stock as well as replenishing popular styles. On top of this there is a trend a month featured in the windows as well as tags telling guys and girls which looks they have to have. A bonus are the ‘Melbourne exclusive’ looks. Suitable for any budget and a personal shopper experience thrown in. Topshop Topman is certainly going to be a welcome addition to the Melbourne shopping scene and I for one am just too excited about getting my cash out of my hot little hand and purchasing some amazing looks for my wardrobe.

Photography courtesy of Stewart Milne


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  1. N/A says:

    Focus on the over 50s and you will make a fortune in this country. Take on board Germaine Greer’s comments about Julia Gillard – older women have luscious rounded figures. Australian fashion needs to cater for this instead of offering over 50s. 60s 70s floating panels and draperies and ridiculously high heels. Get your biology on track and the fashion should follow!

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