Last Wed eve I popped into Unknown Union in Kloof St for the launch the Topshop & Topman pop up store which officially opened on Thu, 12 Jul.
Now listen up, cause this is pretty cool. This is the first time either of these two brands (who are both owned by Arcadia Pty Ltd) have set foot on African soil. Like ever! And of course it makes sense that they selected Cape Town as the best place to set up shop, cause everyone knows Capetonians looooove fashion.
I have not yet been to the UK, but even so, I do know a lot about these two brands. I know that they are known for their fashion forward clothes at prices which do not break the bank but without skimping on quality. I also know that Topshop has done some really cool collaborations with the likes of Scottish designer Christopher Kane and supermodel Kate Moss. And I can also guarantee you that I’ve spent way too much time drooling over their clothes online…
Therefore you can understand how excited I was when I got an invite to be one of the first lucky people to check out their amazing stuff in the flesh.
Now Unknown Union refers to themselves as a “boutique retailer”. They have already brought quite a few international brands to our shores, like Pendleton, OBEY, Penfield & Warriors of Radness, plus they have their own Unknown Union label. The store itself if something you kinda have to experience. It was designed by New York architect Raphael De Cardenas (check out: www.architectureatlarge.com) and is really something quite unique. Let me show you:
I made my way up the winding stairway to the top floor and was greeted by a shopping mob, all people who were obviously just as excited as I was to get a sneak peak at “the good stuff”.
One thing that stood out for me right off the bat was that everything was priced under the R1000 mark. Now yes, that might not be considered as “cheap” – but in my book I certainly do consider it well priced for a well established, imported label.
So let me show you some of my favourite things. I’ll start with the Topshop side of things of course because well, I’m a girl… I absolutely loved this summer look – it’s so fresh and fun, could see myself rocking it with a cute pair of wedges:
Top R350, skirt R490
Then this vintage feel blouse:
Oooh and these sexy pale yellow skinnies (there were other colours too – but my heart belonged to the sunny side):
And then this silver & white knitted crop top:
All of these items could happily live in my wardrobe. I just have to do some talking to my credit card about it first.
Now lets talk about Topman. Overall I thought the Topman selection was a bit stronger. I loved their selection of coloured denims:
R600 – R690
As well as these cool sunnies & wallets – priced too good to say no to:
Sunglasses R140, Wallet R250
There were some really great winter things:
Long sleeve tops & knits – R490 to R680
And then these really fun short sleeve shirts for summer (guys, this might seem weird to most of you – but you need to start sorting out that summer wardrobe like now. Otherwise you’re left with sad looking vests and ugly saggy shorts just because you’ve only woken up way too late. This is solid advice, so go with it.) :
R490 – R520 (their short sleeve T-shirts were cool too & they’re priced at around R390)
I got to catch up with Sean Shuter, owner of Unknown Union and a former New Yorker. Turns out he’s the man behind this Topman collection as he hand picked every piece. The Topshop pieces were selected by the Topshop guys in the UK, but he did tell me that they’ve got two more orders coming in which will include more ladies accessories & bags (woohoo!) and it will be carefully selected to suit our Cape Town market.
Me with Sean
Now listen up (again) – this pop up store is only up & running until the end of September. So get your butts over there ASAP. Sean says that this collaboration is being used as a way to “test the waters” and if the response is good, who knows, maybe we’ll be seeing a stand-alone Topshop/Topman store here soon…
Oh yeah… Because who could possibly resist the charms of this city?
Here’s hoping. With Zara almost here (like seriously, when is that store in the V&A opening already!!!) a Topshop/Topman addition will bring further happiness to my shopaholics anonymous group. We meet on Saturdays. At the shops.