The high street strikes back

They are faced with reluctant shoppers, online rivals and winter weather. But the big fashion chains are determined to woo us back in store. Three of them reveal to Gemma Hayward exactly how they’ll do it






Topshop



Jacqui Markham



Head of Design

What's the thinking behind this season's collection?

We looked at lots of different references for spring/summer as we like to keep the collections fresh, and give our customers lots of options. The themes we worked around were "Hope and Glory", which is quintessentially English with a twist – we looked at floral prints, lace and embroidered vintage-inspired cardigans to create a quirky look.

"Memphis" is inspired by rodeo styling and features marble-wash denims, as well as check shirts and tasselled knitwear. "Voodoo", which has a strong tribal-print element and bold use of colour, has a body-con silhouette and can be dressed up or down. "Nouveau Sport" is our super-luxe approach to sportswear, with clean lines and functional fastenings, and a slinky silhouette, so it feels really fresh.

Describe your customer

Someone who likes to experiment and take chances with fashion – an individual who likes to have fun.

Which designers influence you?

We are aware of what other designers are doing, but look for inspiration in other areas. We do a lot of research at music festivals, clubs and gigs, and look at street style to get an idea of trends coming through and movements in fashion. Blogs are another great resource for finding out which trends are coming through both in the UK and internationally. We also look at vintage clothing for inspiration.

Which are your favourite Topshop pieces?

The Union Jack jacket is a great "trophy jacket" – the flag is so iconic and never dates! The English Rose dress is great for spring/summer as it can be teamed with a clashing jacket or worn alone for a classic look. Our "It Knits" are comfortable but cool, particularly the tassled pieces. Our studded skinny jeans with bleached wash are a must have!

Gap

Anita Borzyszkowska

Vice-President of PR

What's the thinking behind this season's collection?

For spring, we've relaunched Gap denim, introducing new shapes and reworking fits and washes across the men's and women's collections. New styles include the ultra- flattering Skinny Flare and the Trouser Jean, as well as our faded boy-fit jeans and authentic Western denim shirts. Looking forward to summer, our focus turns to swimwear. Mireille Gindrey, our new

head of design for GapBody, has created a comprehensive beach collection, including 20 different styles of swimwear and essential beach pieces – washed jersey hoodies, tie-dye tanks and pocket T-dresses.

Describe your customer

Confident and with an ease about their style. The Gap customer wants good quality pieces that they are happy to mix for a high-street look or pair with a special piece by a favourite designer. They are happy to invest in clothes that will live beyond the season.

Which are your favourite Gap pieces?

Our swimwear fits amazingly, with great sports-inspired colour-block pieces, an easy way to wear this season's brights. Our mannish chambray blazer works equally well with a dress or chinos, and classic stripy knits are also an effortless wardrobe update.

H&M

Ann-Sofie Johansson

Head of Design

What's the thinking behind this season's collection?

That fashion should be fun, with a choice of different trends and looks, from soft and romantic to relaxed and preppie. We also have an Eighties-inspired trend and an exotic safari story.

Describe your customer

H&M is for everyone with an interest in fashion. We cater to everyone's needs, from everyday basics to high-concept fashion.

Which designers influence you?

We're not really influenced by designers, rather street fashion, movies, music, celebrities, vintage... We take regular inspiration trips to key cities worldwide.

Which are your favourite H&M pieces?

Our light Eighties-inspired denim pieces, our cool oversized T-shirts, and our rope, chain and beaded statement jewellery.

Suggested Topics
News
news
Life and Style
Popular plonk: Lambrusco is selling strong
Food and drinkNaff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
Voices
A Siberian Tiger
voices
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Property Finance Partner

    Very Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: LONDON - BANKING / PROPERTY FINANCE - ...

    Agile Tester

    £28000 - £30000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: An ambitious...

    Senior SAP MM Consultant, £50,000 - £60,000, Birmingham

    £50000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Senior SAP MM C...

    SAP BW BO

    competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP BW BO - 6 MONTHS - LONDON London (Gr...

    Day In a Page

    A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

    A new Russian revolution

    Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
    Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

    Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

    The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
    Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

    Standing my ground

    If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

    Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

    Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
    Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

    Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

    The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
    The man who dared to go on holiday

    The man who dared to go on holiday

    New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

    For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
    The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

    The Guest List 2014

    Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
    Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

    Jokes on Hollywood

    With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
    It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

    It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

    Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
    Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

    Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

    Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
    Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

    Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

    Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
    Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

    Edinburgh Fringe 2014

    The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
    Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

    Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

    The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried