No one can deny that Paris is an enchanting city abundant in delights. The boulevards are charming, the food is to die for, the architecture is breathtakingly exquisite and the richness of culture is overwhelming. And that is without mentioning its renowned reputation in the fashion world for classic dressing which is impeccably à la mode. However, there is one name missing along the high street leaving a noticeable void. Whilst the likes of H&M and Zara are firm favourites in the French market, Phil Green’s Topshop has never made it across the Channel – until now.
That’s right French fashionistas, you will no longer have to leave Gallic shores in order to purchase your Leigh jeans, crop tops or glitter eye shadow – Topshop has found a place on the Boulevard Haussmann catwalk. Green’s success story is due to open in Galeries Layfayette in October and will finally answer France’s increasing demand for British chic.
So with stores already spanning across several continents, why has it taken so long for Topshop to break through the French fashion scene? This is a question I asked myself constantly whilst suffering pangs of withdrawal symptoms. I concluded that Parisians must have simply formed a consensus that our fashion must be as désagréable as our cuisine. Or perhaps Brit style is just a bit too quirky and rough around the edges for the country of Coco Chanel?
Whilst this may be the opinion of the older generation, from my experience the young are raving about liberal British fashion. When I would say that I was from London, the first things that came out of girls’ mouths were Topshop and Camden market. I even had a friend that would come on shopping trips to England just to stock up her wardrobe. Many young fashionistas often moan about the dominance of designer labels in Paris and the lack of affordable style. What’s more, even after hours of trawling through vintage stores, many Parisians find the eclectic ‘look British’ a hard one to recreate.
Topshop is not the only British chain finding un pied de nez into French fashion. Primark is also due to open two stores in Marseille and in a shopping centre situated north-east of Paris. These announcements are a cause for celebration among the fashion hungry in the capital. Watch out Paris, Topshop is set to erect barricades along France’s high street!