Why the British high street needs to listen to consumers

They were one of the first brands to nail the quick turnaround from ‘catwalks to sidewalk’

Harriet Hall@Harri_Grace
Monday 17 June 2019 18:17

As a teenager growing up in London, my early trips to Topshop’s Oxford Circus store were like a weekly pilgrimage to fashion Mecca. Opening in 1992, the flagship changed the face of youth shopping, offering a cafe, a background of chart hits while you shopped and plenty of places for disgruntled parents and partners to sit and wait.

It was where I mutilated my ears with multiple piercings, dyed my hair varying pastel shades and bought a myriad of questionable outfits. I spent countless hours wandering around with friends – it was a perfect hangout spot – and ran in when I worked in the area to grab an emergency packet of sweets for a sugar hit.

More than just a shrewd shop experience, Topshop was one of the first brands to nail the quick turnaround from “catwalks to sidewalk”. They translated items seen at the ready-to-wear collections and distilled them into mass-appeal pieces, putting them into production mere weeks after the shows – and at an affordable price point. It meant the latest trends were available to everyone.

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