At the heart of Topman's business is a reliable in-house designed main range, which revolves around the latest trends and is refreshed on a monthly basis. This is where staple items such as jeans or t-shirts are given twists and tweaks to suit fashion's current mood. A premium collection sits alongside this main range with an added focus on fit, detail and fabrication. The development of a strong suiting line, which includes classic shapes alongside more directional cuts bring a more formal element to the overall collection.
One of the current debates within fashion for more ecologically friendly product has been embraced by Topman with a line that focuses on FAIRTRADE cotton. This has been certified to meet international Fair-trade standards.
In Autumn/ Winter 2005 the debut Topman Design collection, headed by Topman design director Gordon Richardson and created by his in-house design team, arrived in key stores. With a distinct emphasis on developing more individual, design-led clothing, this collection pushes trends harder - often creating its own - and provides a top-end line for the brand.
Since launching, it has won stockists such as London's Selfridges, where it has its own concession, Barney's New York, Fred Segal in LA, Opening Ceremony both in New York and LA, LA Foret in Japan, Colette in Paris and Shine in Hong Kong and Beijing. Topman design is shown seasonally at London Fashion Week on the official schedule, as part of the catwalk event MAN - a collaborative partnership between the highly reputable Fashion East initiative and Topman.
Topman is dedicated to new talent, which can be seen through the various projects that have involved emerging designers. Names such as Kim Jones, Markus Lupfer and Peter Jensen have all crafted unique designs for Topman. The collaborative projects Lens, essentially a boutique within the Oxford Circus - the clothes are sold online - has pushed this idea further still.
During London Fashion Week February 2008, MAN took to the catwalk for the sixth time on the official schedule. Each season, demand for tickets to this bona fid highlight on the menswear calendar increases with queues outside the venue speaking volumes for the enthusiasm the industry feels for MAN.
MAN was born in 2006, the love child of Fashion East founder Lulu Kennedy- women swear initiative to promote new talent at LFW was established in 2000 - and Topman, with an aim to put menswear on the map in London.
Kennedy initially proposed to the brand that they support a men's initiative but Topman instead offered full collaborative partnership. With a panel of menswear experts including British GQ's Charlie Porter and most recent addition Tim Blanks of Style.com coming together seasonally to propose worthy recipients for a slice of MAN's catwalk action.
Man designers to date:
Benjamin Kirchoff, Patrik Soderstam, Siv Støldal, David David, Ann-Sofie Back, Deryck Walker, Cassette Playa, Lotta Skeletrix, Carola Euler, Kim Jones, James Long, Hans Christian Madsen and Topman Design.
In September of 2005, Topman unveiled its debut Lens boutique at Oxford Circus. Following hot on the heels of the success of MAN, Gordon Richardson went into talks with one of London's key supporters of burgeoning design talent, b Store's Matthew Murphy.