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IFEOMA OSUJI FASHION DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT YEAR 2 GROUP C OSU12362294

CREATIVE PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE RATIONALE


INTRODUCTION In this rationale I investigate Topshops ethos and values, market position, competitors and potential gaps in the market to expand the brand, attracting new customers whilst keeping current customers loyal. An article in The Telegraph, entitled ‘Kate Phelan's View from the Top’, Phelan, creative director of Topshop epitomises Topshops ethos. “Topshop is where you first fall in love with fashion; you step into the world of fashion.”

My research consisted of looking at past articles, campaigns, catwalks, and the store itself. From the items on sale, it’s clear that Topshop stay big contenders on the high street by constantly producing new products in key trends, whilst always offering wardrobe staples, basics, and high end pieces to complete a woman’s wardrobe. From visiting numerous Topshop stores, evidently they try to create a one stop shop by selling clothing, accessories, beauty and cosmetics, footwear and jewellery. AIMS AND OBJECTIVES The core aim for this project is to create a collection that embodies sustainable fashion. For my collection to stay in the proximities of sustainable fashion I’ll create it entirely from end of the roll, dead stock fabrics, rather than manufacture more fabrics and contribute to omitting bad toxins in to the atmosphere creating more toxic waste. Due to excessive amounts of cotton being used in the last few decades, cotton will soon no longer be available. The ‘fast fashion’ cycle causes cotton to be in constant demand due to mass production, high demand for new clothes. The collection being sustainable means it will not use the same approach as ‘fast fashion’. This entails the clothes to be of a high quality that will last years and not ruin after a few wears. For this to be possible, it will not be mass produced so the quality is a high standard. Not mass producing means that it would have to be manufactured in Britain, which will also mean carbon footprints are reduced enormously. Therefore it will be more expensive than the majority of Topshop products. However, after conducting my research, I found that Topshop does cater for customers who want pieces of a better quality, with original design aesthetics and are willing to pay that extra bit more. These items are part of their ‘UNIQUE’ collection. Research I had taken visting the stores; UNIQUE collection on sale in the oxford circus flagship store

“We’re the only high street brand to show on schedule at London Fashion Week and our in -house design team work all year round to produce a collection of pieces worthy of the catwalk. Think luxe pieces with a big hit of street savvy style.” – Topshop Website


RANGE PROPOSAL I would like to create a 10 pieces capsule wardrobe mixed evening and daytime wear in different colour and print options that will be part of the UNIQUE collection. It’s wholly inspired by my research, which has led to print and silhouette ideas.

A select few pieces from the current ‘UNIQUE collection in Topshop

Topshops UNIQUE at London Fashion Week Autumn Winter 13

The colour palette contains cool tones of greys, blues, whites, and blacks. There will also be colour pops of bright pinks, blues, and purples. Print inspiration came from my photographical research and has led me to design geometric graphical prints. Silhouettes are a mix of structure and curves creating juxtaposition from piece to piece. Due to the colour palette, prints and silhouettes it will have a luxurious slightly sporty feel.


COMPETITORS The British high street is saturated with brands offering similar and different products. Topshop has an extensive offering of products making them contenders in every market. The main competitors for Topshop are Zara and River Island. They have the same customer base and similar products, similar price brackets, though River Island is slightly lower.

Examples of Zara’s Pieces on their website and their prices

Examples of River Island’s product offering and their prices

Topshops competitors have many similarities; however my collection will give them their unique selling point making them stronger than their competitors. On the following page are examples of their similarities.


H&M is similarly a contender. They too are a high street chain store who takes inspiration from the catwalks. They have the same customer age range but their customer profile is different; price range is lower. They collaborate with high end designers to create collections for H&M but within their price range. The difference between their collaborations and Topshop UNIQUE collection; is that Topshop is at a high end designer quality, H&M is still mass produced at poor quality.

CONSUMER The consumer for this collection will care about environmental issues, therefore makes a conscious effort to buy clothes from companies who use sustainable strategies to deliver products. She has a great sense of style and invests in well-made clothes that can be worn over the years and still look fresh and fashionable. Therefore spends money on classic wardrobe staples rather than throw-away cheap items, adding excitement and personality to her style by choosing interesting silhouettes and prints. She is in her late 20s to mid 40s, with a high salary of ÂŁ40,000 with the freedom of disposable income as she has no children. She works in either media, public relations or business field, needing to look smart and well put together. Her job requires a lot of networking and after hours social events; she needs a wardrobe that can take her from daytime office wear to evening wear. She will also need those special pieces to make her stand out at special social events she needs to attend. She likes the high end part of the high street for clothes but her


salary sometimes allows her to splurge on Stella McCartney accessories such as bags and shoes as she knows that brand is environmentally conscious.

Stella McCartney bag, boots, and clutch

Her favourite high street brands are sustainable friendly Whistles, Noir, and high quality Topshop UNIQUE and Acne. She has a high pressured job with little spare time during the week, so to relax and unwind on the weekend, she likes to go shopping, listen to music, and socialise with friends at trendy new bars in the city. She always makes time to exercise on the weekend by doing yoga and swimming to keep her fit and energetic.


BIBLIOGRAPHY ARTICLES 

Blanchard, T (2012). Kate Phelan’s view from the top. The Telegraph, 10 September 2012. 60. WEBSITES

Topshop UNIQUE. [Online]. Available at www.topshop.com. Accessed on (14th October 2013)

ONLINE IMAGES 

Marant, Isabel (2013) [online image] Available at http://www.styleheritage.com/201309/isabel-marant-for-hm-full-lookbook/

COS (2013) [online image] Available at http://www.cosstores.com/

River Island (2013) [online image] Available at http://www.riverisland.com/

ACNE (2013) [online image] Available at http://www.acnestudios.com/

Whistles (2013) [online image] Available at http://www.whistles.co.uk/

Zara (2013) [online image] Available at http://www.zara.com

McCartney, Stella (2013) [online image] Available at www.net-a-porter.com/


Topshop Project Rationale