This won't be your typical celebrity endorsement. It's a joint venture of which Beyonce will be a 50% partner in. It's going to be a separate entity to the Topshop store, with the new joint venture being named under Parkwood Topshop Athletic Ltd.,
We've seen a huge growth in fashionable athletic sportswear with Net-a-sporter, and the ever on trend H&M getting in on the act with their own line and it seems Topshop owner Sir Philip Green, realized the gap in his market. The new venture will produce an athletic streetwear brand, and could be here as early as fall 2015 in both stores and online, WWD has reported. The details of the deal are said to be released later today.
This news is not to be confused with a typical celebrity endorsement or collaboration as Sir Philip Green explains to WWD, “This not a collaboration. This is about building a brand and building a business — a separate, proper business, with separate overhead and a separate office,”
Speaking of how the partnership came about Green explains, “Basically, when she was in London in February we arranged to get together. We started talking generally, about doing something together. We’ve been looking at that [athletic] sector for a while. It’s something we need to be in. Based on what she does, how she works out, the conversation got into that category. We started getting into proper conversation in May or June, as to how it would work. It took six or eight weeks to put a deal together. On Friday, “Beyoncé came to our office for the last piece of the jigsaw puzzle.”
Beyonce has been spending a lot of time in London and Europe lately with husband Jay Z and the news today certainly explains why.
Beyonce commented, “I have always loved Topshop for their fashion credentials and forward thinking,”
And what a perfect partnership it will be. Beyonce is always so current, with her mix of street style as well as chic ensembles. Beyonce, in my opinion always seems to have a strong view point on fashion and certainly knows who she is and expresses it well through her personal style. This is a great platform for Beyonce to take that one step further. With such a strong sense of who she is as well as an incredibly strong message she gives out, the collaboration seems like the perfect fit.
Beyonce, it seems certainly won't be sitting back and just attaching her name to the products saying she wants to, “create and produce a technical and fashion-led collection” and “participate in all aspects of the partnership.”
It makes perfect business sense for the duo to pair up. Not only is there a gap in Topshops portfolio for fashion forward athletic sportswear, which needs to be filled for the brand, but also Beyonce's enormous fan base will only drive more customers to Topshop. Green clearly understands this and sees that whilst Topshop have 3.2 million followers, Beyonce has almost 6 times that following with 19 million followers. With the figures combined, a huge new fan base could come Topshops way.
Topshop previously collaborated with Kate Moss on several collections however it currently is unattached of any celebrity partnerships, endorsements or collaborations. However their history with Moss' collection has been very successful, creating one off collections which were incredibly popular.
Beyonce is no stranger to the world of fashion, her mother Tina Knowles was her stylist and made her clothes and costumes for years and together over a decade ago, they began a fashion business, House of Dereon. Beyonce also has a range of products which include clothing, fragrances and denim.
Despite the news breaking today, there is still a lot of work ahead for the new venture. The first being what to call the collection. In addition, as it is a completely separate entity to Topshop, a new team will need to be put together, and an office space found. Speaking of where the location of the office would be, Green said most likely in New York.
Green is aware of the huge undertaking of the task and said, “We have much to achieve in just under a year,” Now that the deal is signed the rest of the planning can go ahead, including the hiring of the team. Green plans to find someone to head up the joint venture, with a creative director as well as two designers. To keep the brand as both a functional yet fashionable athletic brand, they plan on hiring both a designer who has an understanding of athletic wear, and how to make it functional in terms of stretch etc for workout wear, as well as a fashion designer to keep it on trend. As for who will be hired? Green said. “We’ve been brainstorming about the name. We haven’t got there yet.”
Included in the brand, it will cover all areas of fitness and dance wear including footwear. The brand will be targeting women who will use the clothes to workout as well as fashionable pieces that can be worn without hitting the gym.
The brand is planned to be available in both Topshop physical stores as well as online. Speaking of additional retailers Green says “Assuming the line is sufficient, it will certainly be in our biggest stores, hopefully as a shop within shop, having its own identity in the stores, certainly in the stores where we have the space. Outside of our own stores, we will talk to Nordstrom where we’ve got a relationship and then we see who else we talk to from there.” Nordstrom began selling Topshop within the store in 2012 and they currently have 52 Nordstroms stocking the brand.
Topshop has been a huge name on the high street for a long time. However since it was founded in Sheffield in 1964, it has certainly seen a huge growth in the brand. They currently have 330 stores in the UK, and almost 500 world wide. On Nov 5th a new flagship store is opening on 608 Fifth Avenue in New York on 49th Street which is opposite Saks Fifth Avenue. The new store will be Topshop's second largest store in the world and the largest US store to date. It is 40,000 square feet with four levels, three of which are selling floors. So far the largest store location still remains in Oxford Street London, which is the retailers flagship store.
I'm excited to see who will be the top two designers for the new brand.. watch this space!