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Green’s Topshop gathers no Moss

Jessica Brown

They don’t come much more iconically ‘British fashion’ than Kate Moss, and when in April 2007 she made a brief appearance (12 seconds to be precise) in the window of another British icon Topshop’s Oxford Circus flagship, dressed in a limited-edition long red dress from the inaugural collaborative collection, it was a momentous occasion in London’s, if not the world’s, fashion history.

They don’t come much more iconically ‘British fashion’ than Kate Moss, and when in April 2007 she made a brief appearance (12 seconds to be precise) in the window of another British icon Topshop’s Oxford Circus flagship, dressed in a limited-edition long red dress from the inaugural collaborative collection, it was a momentous occasion in London’s, if not the world’s, fashion history.

The poppy-print mini dress from the launch range was an instant hit, popping up on eBay at vastly inflated prices just hours after selling out. Rumours abounded that Topshop took £3m on Moss’s designs in the first week.

The Sir Philip Green and Kate Moss love affair seemed cemented last year when she linked arms with the high street mogul and cut the ribbon on his New York flagship, as an explosion of confetti fell on their heads.

Yet the power that “Uncle Phil’s” Kate of Croydon once had on label launches seems to have waned on home shores, with teenagers adopting new celebs like Pixie Lott and Alexa Chung as their fashion idols.

Kate Moss for Topshop was always first and foremost a marketing exercise, and hats off to Green for recognising the partnership has run its course. It can’t have been easy to put to bed what has probably been the most powerful fashion collaboration in history, and though Moss has no doubt received millions for her input, what Green and Topshop gained from the deal in publicity and global brand prestige was worth far more.

How Green pushes the chain’s international credibility without her is going to be an interesting marketing exercise to follow.

For more on London’s recent fashion successes, see our special report.

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