Long lines and throngs of photogs waited in Soho today as the UK’s popular Topshop clothing chain opened its doors for the first time in the US.
Topshop, owned by British billionaire, Sir Philip Green, completely gutted an historic four-story building to create their New York flagship store, and by the looks of the crowds winding around the big city block they’ll have plenty of takers – despite the lingering recession.
“You’ve seen a few retailers collapse, but I think the big people will ride out the storm,” Green, 57, said in an interview while wandering the 25,000-square-foot New York store. “People haven’t stopped shopping. The young fashion market has still remained pretty resilient during these difficult times.”
Topshop is known for mixing designer duds with your run-of-the-mill ready-to-wear at price points we mere mortals can afford. Call it a step up from H & M, with Kate Moss as its Karl Lagerfeld or Stella McCartney.
The New York store has 32 changing rooms, a DJ booth, and a shoe lounge and stocks everything from cocktail dresses to $70 “skinny jeans” as well as jewelry and lingerie.
The divine Miss Moss made a brief appearance to christen the store today and celebrated with the city’s fashion elite last night at Soho’s signature hotspot, Balthazar.
Wearing pieces from her Topshop collection and a pair of chandelier diamond earrings, Moss rubbed elbows with the likes of Jennifer Lopez, who wore white with her Lorraine Schwartz diamond danglers, and singer Jennifer Hudson, who performed for the dinnergoers in a sequined Topshop number.
That Sir Philip doesn’t spare any expense. And it’s no wonder. He and his wife, based in Monaco, shared an estimated fortune of 4.3 billion pounds in 2007, according to the U.K.’s Sunday Times Rich List.
That’s a lot of skinny jeans!