Topshop is launching its new initiative, Runway-to-Retail, at London Fashion Week this year. This new plan, which launches on the 18th of September, will offer consumers the opportunity to purchase Topshop Unique items directly from the runway. This is one of the first times a brand will make their pieces available to the public immediately after a fashion week showcase. As per the plan, a carefully selected edit from the Topshop Unique show – from casual separates and tailoring to the extravagant finale dresses – will be presented online at Topshop.com and in selected stores around the world.
Topshop’s Managing Director, Mary Homer, says the brand is hoping to bring its customers closer to that iconic London Week Fashion Week experience. “In a rapidly changing global marketplace where consumers demand immediacy,” she says, “we recognize the importance of disrupting the traditional model.” In the society we live in it is either sink or swim, and the fashion world may need to begin swimming rapidly in order to keep up with their vast and demanding consumer base.
This season’s showcase, Topshop Unique, will take place at the East-London landmark Old Spitalfelds market. The historic market place, with its beautiful glass canopy, has sold goods to the general public for going on 350 years. This venue will serve as a splendid symbol to accompany Topshop in its unveiling of Runway-to-Retail. Immediately after the showcase, a stall will also be erected outside the pavilion where the public and guests will be able to purchase the pieces seen on the runway instantly.
What this new idea of Runway-to-Retail may mean for the future of fashion and haut-couture, we cannot know. Will other fashion houses and brands be following in Topshop’s footsteps and make their runway designs available to the general public? Other fashion houses also feel that the traditional model for showcasing runway collections has become an “antiquated idea” that may no longer make sense. Topshop with it’s global following and widely popular fashion trends would be the perfect ambassador to spearhead the fashion world into the new era.