Interview: Lou Ashton, TOPSHOP
18 Dec 2016
Lou Ashton, TOPSHOP's Global Head of Marketing shares why it's important for big retailers to work with emerging talent, the inspirations behind TOPSHOP's latest LFW show, and her favourite things to buy at the market.
What was the inspiration behind the market theme for TOPSHOP's fashion week showcase?
This year we took inspiration from the market itself. As well as being a perfect shopping location Spitalfields market is one of the most impressive surviving Victorian market halls within London. There is so much history to be told, with over 350 years of retailing it was the perfect location to hold our shoppable runway show.
What appealed to you about hosting it in Spitalfields market?
The combination of traditionalism with an urban edge created the ideal setting for our runway-to-retail catwalk. Topshop have always been about democratizing fashion and Spitalfields brought new accessibility.
How did having real traders surround the catwalk enhance the show?
With an electric array of retailers it brought to life our vision. TOPSHOP have always been about discovering new talent, and this was the perfect opportunity to champion this with our partnership with Appear Here.
What were your favourite moments from the TOPSHOP showspace?
Just before the start of the show, the split second in which you can finally breathe where everyone’s hard work time and effort is finally going to be presented to the rest of the fashion industry the anticipation is just palpable.
TOPSHOP partnered with Appear Here to launch In-Residence, giving new brands the opportunity to book space in-store. Why do you think it's important for retailers to make sure they always have new experiences in their store?
Increasingly customers are using our digital channels for ease and convenience. When they come to store, they want to be inspired, they want to experience the brand.
TOPSHOP is always at the forefront of what’s now and next, the experience constantly changes and our Oxford Circus store is a great example of that. With constant newness to excite our customers.
What benefits do major retailers like Topshop get from working with emerging talent?
Inspiration bringing innovative modern and fresh ideas to our customers working with new talent and start-ups. It enables us to always stay current with our audience
Favourite market to explore?
I never get tired of Portobello Road it’s another one of London’s iconic market destinations. Fridays are fantastic with a lot more vintage and unique finds to be had and I always venture up to Golborne Road for a bite to eat at Lisboa Café.
Best thing you've bought at a market?
Maps, lots of maps.