Chloe Green steps into the world’s biggest fashion store with surprising trepidation. She visits Topshop’s flagship Oxford Circus branch twice a week to rifle through the racks and check out the window displays, but today she scopes the store with a bit more trepidation.
The 20-year-old daughter of billionaire retailer Sir Philip Green – who, of course, owns the chain – is uncannily nervous.
The new series of E4’s reality show Made In Chelsea – in which Chloe makes her reality TV debut – started on Monday night and she’s desperate to know what the team of stylists who hover attentively around her thought of it. They smother her in praise.
The show follows the adventures of a group of glamorous and wealthy twenty-somethings who live in West London, adore designer clothes and have plenty of money to spend on Kings Road. Posh, super-wealthy, andbeautiful , Chloe was a shoe-in for the role.
Until recently she was dating one of the show’s stars – the silken-haired, chisel-cheeked Ollie Locke, who announced he was bisexual in the last series – but Chloe reveals the pair have just broken up.
The whole debacle was captured on camera and will be screened later in the series.
‘We have split,’ confirms Chloe. ‘It was nothing to do with Ollie being bisexual; I was fine with it and so was Dad. He met Ollie and thought he was a really nice guy. The problem was the pressure of conducting a relationship under a magnifying glass. It was just too intense and I think we both knew it wasn’t working.’
‘It got to the point where we were arguing so much it wasn’t fun any more so we mutually decided to end it. Ollie’s great and we’re still good friends but there’s a huge amount of pressure having the cameras on you all the time and I think he’ll crack before I do. I’m a stronger character.’
The Topshop heiress admits she was hooked on Made In Chelsea’s first series and delighted when the show’s producers approached her to star in the follow-up.
Her famously outspoken father, however, was less keen. ‘Dad was worried about me being in the limelight. He didn’t really want me to do it but we talked it through.’
‘Eventually he said OK. I trust my dad’s instincts and if he’d said no, I wouldn’t have done it. I think he was just being protective. We are very close and he doesn’t want me to make a mistake.’
Sir Philip – one of the country’s most successful businessmen, whose retail empire also includes Burton, Etam, Dorothy Perkins and Miss Selfridge – is not known for backing down, but he cut short his summer holiday to Greece to advise his daughter and oversee the TV contract.
He also asked his close friend Simon Cowell to call Chloe to give her some tips. ‘Simon was great,’ says Chloe who has the X-Factor judge on speed dial. ‘He told me to take off the microphone and walk off set if I was ever uncomfortable but so far I haven’t had to.’
‘I’m really glad Dad’s behind me. He called 15 times when the first show was on air, which was really sweet.’
‘He just said, “You look great, you’re so natural.”
‘Mum was travelling so she didn’t get to see it, and my brother called up and said, “I suppose it’s all right,” which is typical.’
‘I was nervous about how the show would go down as there’s been so much hype about it but I’m just relieved it’s going so well. I’ve worked really hard on it.’
Compared to the rest of the cast in Made In Chelsea – a structured reality show in which the people are real but some scenes are engineered for the viewers’ entertainment – Chloe comes across as being down-to-earth and level-headed.
But that doesn’t stop her getting involved in some of the show’s stranger moments. In Monday’s episode she was seen putting Ollie’s fishing maggots on the tip of her newly pierced tongue.
Unlike her father, she is endearingly shy, but she has all of his business acumen and says her ultimate ambition is to take over Topshop with her younger brother, Brandon.
She is putting the finishing touches to her eponymous debut shoe collection – called ‘CG’ – which will launch next spring. She also reveals she is working on a clothing collection.
As the daughter of the country’s ninth-richest man – her father has an estimated fortune of £4.1billion – Chloe knows she is often portrayed as a spoiled heiress and it was one of the reasons she wanted to do the show.
‘I wanted to show people the real me,’ she says. ‘Dad’s one of the hardest working people I know and that work ethic has rubbed off on me.’
Chloe was raised in Monaco from the age of six, and she and Brandon went to the International School there. Weekends were spent hopping to London in the family’s £7 million Gulfstream jet, while holidays were extravagant jaunts to Barbados and summers with Kate Moss aboard the family’s £20 million yacht, Lionheart, which is moored at Monte Carlo.
While Sir Philip is known for his flamboyance – he spent £5m flying 50 of his friends to Cyprus for his 50th birthday and £4m on Brandon’s bar mitzvah – Chloe, who was given a Belgravia flat for her 18th birthday, says that despite the privileges, she had to earn her pocket money.
As a child she worked the tills at BHS during school holidays and accompanied her father to board meetings.
‘Dad would bring me in to meetings when I was 10 to show me how the industry worked. I would point out things I liked and didn’t like and I’ve been doing it ever since. I think he saw that I had an eye for clothes and design from an early age.’
While she has the run of Topshop and pops into the store’s hair salon for a daily blow-dry and manicure before filming, Chloe always settles the bill.
‘I often pop in if I’m having a fashion crisis or I need a pair of shoes for a party but I pay for everything at the full price,’ she says.
That said, Sir Philip has been happy to bankroll her new shoe collection. Assisted by a team of six in-house buyers and designers and with a budget from her father (which she refuses to divulge), Chloe hopes to sell the line at Topshop. She ran some of the designs past her friend Kate Moss, who she cites as her favourite style icon.
‘She thought they were great although she did say some of the shoes were very high,’ she laughs. A self-confessed shoe junkie, Chloe has an enviable closet which houses 70 pairs of Christian Louboutins. ‘They are my weakness and the inspiration for my line. I met Louboutin at a ball once and Dad told him, “This is my daughter. She must be one of your best customers!”
‘I designed my collection myself. The shoes are made in Brazil and they all have a green sole.’
She wore a pair of her peep-toe lace-up boots to the Topshop fashion show during London Fashion Week ‘just to see people’s responses’.
‘A couple of girls came up to me and said they liked them but I didn’t tell them they were mine.’
‘The line still needs some work and I’m hoping Dad will want to stock them and that they will be a success. He has said I will have to pitch just like everyone else, though.’
She also reveals that she is collaborating on a clothing line with the team of stylists at Miss Selfridge. ‘Ideally I’d like to merge TV and fashion but designing is what I really want to do,’ explains Chloe.
She adds: ‘I’d love to take over Topshop with Brandon. He’s a bright kid and he’s working at Arcadia [Topshop’s parent company] at the moment shadowing Dad. The plan is that he will be the business side – I’m more interested in the clothes and the creative. I dropped out of school and didn’t get my A-levels but Dad also dropped out of school when he was 15 without any GCSEs and it didn’t do him any harm.’
While she is so far enjoying her foray into the fickle world of reality TV, Chloe says it’s likely to be a one-off because the participants can feel ‘vulnerable and exposed’.
During this series, viewers will see Chloe forge friendships with the cast, but she says there are also fall-outs. ‘The producers were very interested in my relationship with Gabriella Ellis, who used to date Ollie.
‘It’s fair to say there were some awkward moments and World War Three nearly broke out when we watched the screening of the first episode. A lot happens and it’s not like you can say, “I didn’t say that” or “I didn’t actually do that” because it’s all on film.’
While Made In Chelsea has the potential to make her a household name, there’s a sense that greater things beckon for Miss Green. She says: ‘Dad’s worked extremely hard for everything he’s achieved and I hope I can be the same.
‘It would mean the world to him if we could keep Topshop going so successfully. It would be his dream.’
As if on cue, Sir Philip walks into the personal shopping suite where Chloe has been picking out outfits for me. ‘What are you doing here, Dad?’ she asks, looking embarrassed.
He replies: ‘I came to see if you want to go to a party tonight. I’ve got tickets to a Vogue dinner, a front-row fashion show or a party at Storm.’
Chloe says: ‘I’ll let you know, Dad. I mean, I really am busy filming.’
Source: Daily Mail