LONDON – After more than 18 months of ownership, Asos is ready to unveil the latest iteration of cult British clothing labels Topshop and Topman.
On Thursday, the company will unveil a new visual identity for the sibling labels it bought in early 2021 from Arcadia Group, which filed for bankruptcy during the pandemic.
Inspired by the signage of old Topshop and Topman stores, the visual identity will appear as a digital storefront on a standalone landing page on Asos.com. This is the first time Asos has dedicated a dedicated storefront to the brands in its portfolio.
A new monogram features interlocking Ts to unite the two heritage high street brands under one banner and aesthetic. While Topshop and Topman have always been linked and shared a retail space, this is the first time they have been marketed under one banner.
In an exclusive interview, Nikki Tattersall, an Asos veteran and director of Topshop and Topman, said the e-commerce giant is introducing “reinvigorated collections with a laser focus on quality, design, fit and fabric.”
The price points are similar to those of the past, although Tattersall didn’t elaborate. She said Asos have been “very focused on finding the right value for money” and looking for the best possible fit, quality fabrics and prices.
Topshop and Topman will remain “head-to-toe” brands, offering accessories and product enhancements that meet customers’ desires, Tattersall said.
The strategic focus is on the brands’ most popular categories, including denim, dresses and tailoring. According to Tattersall, the design teams remain the same as those who worked under Philip Green’s Arcadia.
Tattersall said Asos is keen to leverage “the knowledge and expertise” of the creative teams and “revitalize their creativity and autonomy”. We are fully focused on fashion again and putting the needs of the customer at the center of our decisions.”
She added that it is crucial for Asos to highlight the distinct aesthetics of Topshop and Topman and ensure they stand out from the other apparel brands in the Asos portfolio. Because of this, they have their own digital storefront and landing page.
While Asos has retained so much of both brands’ DNA, it has also made changes. Asos has worked with the design teams on a “digital-first” approach. Historically, Topshop and Topman sold primarily through physical stores, although they did have an e-commerce element.
Tattersall said the two sales channels are very different and Asos has worked closely with teams on issues such as “phasing, timing, color options and styling” of the goods to ensure the collections appeal to a customer who is buying online rather than browsing a store floor .
Even through the darkest days of Arcadia’s financial woes and last year’s transition to new ownership, Topshop and Topman have continued to perform well in the workshop.
Topshop and Topman sell more than 106 Nordstrom stores in North America, and Tattersall said business is booming in the region.
“Our Nordstrom partnership is particularly exciting,” she said, adding that she recently visited Los Angeles to showcase the new branding and strategy for the North American teams.
However, she declined to say whether the revamped brands would have a physical presence outside of North America.
Under Asos, Topshop and Topman will have a wider reach globally, shipping to 230 countries.
For the first time, Topshop and Topman introduce “truly inclusive sizes” with the new Curve range, which covers sizes 18 to 28. This also applies to Topshop’s best-selling denim range, including the popular Jamie and Joni styles.
Asos has also continued to invest in Topshop’s maternity, tall and petite collections. Tattersall said inclusivity is “non-negotiable” for Asos in terms of size, variety of offerings and audience appeal.
For Fall 2022, Asos will introduce a range of limited-edition pieces that it describes as “the purest expression” of the brand’s new vision. She said the limited edition pieces have a more upscale, directional aesthetic, with key designs being made in the UK, many in factories and workshops in London.
Tattersall said: “It has been a privilege to take charge of such a beloved institution. Over the last 18 months we have done incredible work, learning from the past and from each other, to create something exciting and relevant for the future.”
More collaborations — with music, pop culture, arts and other creative industries — could be on the horizon in the future, Tattersall added. “We want to solidify the brands’ place in fashion and culture and collaborate with talents from different fields,” she said.
By the end of 2020, Topshop was a multi-brand store selling make-up, accessories, jewelery and even cupcakes from its bustling Oxford Street ground floor and its other UK stores.
Both Topshop and Topman have been around since the 1960s and have long been synonymous with youth culture in Britain. Many fashion designers, editors, PRs and buyers in the UK worked Saturday jobs for the two brands or spent their weekends shopping in the stores.
Under brand director Jane Shepherdson, who left the company in 2006, Topshop became an internationally recognized retailer – and a destination in London retail. On their watch, Topshop looked beyond the catwalks and into the burgeoning street style scene for inspiration. She has also tapped into London fashion brands from Zandra Rhodes to JW Anderson to create capsule collections for the retailer.
Under former owner Green, Topshop later brokered celebrity deals with Kate Moss, Beyoncé, and Kendall and Kylie Jenner for clothing, lingerie, and makeup. Topshop has also been a main sponsor of London Fashion Week, sponsoring its own full-scale venue during shows and supporting designers such as Shrimps, Molly Goddard and Charlotte Knowles.
As reported last year, Asos won the bidding race for Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and HIIT, the flagship stores in the now-defunct Arcadia.
The deal was priced at £330million minus the store portfolio and some argued at the time that Asos got a bargain.
The online giant bought the brands, intellectual property and inventory in a deal that mirrors Boohoo’s acquisition of Debenhams last week.
Since then, Asos has integrated the brands into its platform and their sales and profits are consolidated within the larger group.
Asos, which already sold Topshop on its multi-brand platform, said last year that the overlap between its own customer base and Topshop’s is part of the deal’s appeal, as is the fashion retailer’s established presence in international markets, including the US and Germany .
“The acquisition will help accelerate our multi-brand platform strategy,” said Nick Beighton, then Chief Executive Officer of Asos, who has since assumed the CEO role of Matchesfashion.
According to Euromonitor, the acquisition secured Asos its place among the top five online players in the apparel and footwear e-commerce space and allowed the company to offer a “better balanced” range of products between the Asos brand and third-party brands.
Last year’s sale also saw store closures and job losses.
While up to 300 staff working in the labels’ design, retail partnerships and buying departments moved to Asos, thousands of jobs were lost across the brands’ 70 or so physical stores across the UK.
https://wwd.com/business-news/retail/asos-revives-topshop-topman-for-digital-generation-1235360737/ Asos revitalizes Topshop, Topman for a new, digital generation – WWD