Check out all the latest news on fashion mogul Sir Philip Green.
He vacationed with Leonardo DiCaprio, Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss, hired Rod Stewart and Tom Jones to sing at his three-day 60th birthday party and was able to tap both Beyoncé Knowles and Andrea Bocelli to play at his son Brandon’s Bar Mitzvah. Just who is Sir Philip Green? What a silly question. He’s the man responsible for delivering the long-awaited Topshop to Los Angeles, of course. And, with his typical fabulous flair, he delivered said store on Valentine’s Day like the biggest and best of love letters.
Though LA’s fashion-focused residents feared it would never come, Sir Philip is adamant that the presence of his haute U.K. chain in the City of Angels was never a question of ‘if,’ just a question of ‘where.’
“I don’t think it’s about ‘finally.’ The strategy always was that we’d open a location in Los Angeles,” the 60-year-old Arcadia Group CEO maintains from the plush VIP room inside his new store at The Grove. “But we wanted to find special sites, special locations to make it really stand out. This is two years in the making: finding a location, discussing with [The Grove’s developer] Rick Caruso, waiting for people to move out. It’s not easy. You can open a store in any city in the world, but you won’t be successful without a special space and visibility.”
This is Green’s fourth location in the U.S.; he has opened stores in New York City, Chicago and Las Vegas in recent years. His three American outlets are a miniscule part of his empire, however: he has 400 plus shops in more than 38 countries – all of which were created just over ten years ago. Each store also houses its menswear collection, Topman.
While his success is staggering, Sir Philip – knighted as such in 2006 – has a very simple recipe for creating his fortune. “We have a very clear strategy,” he confides. “Each location is very individual. Here [at The Grove] is a great corner. We’ve been very fortunate. Twenty percent of our sales shipping out of the States are from California, so we’ve got some traction. I’m prepared to take time and wait for this to be a success.”
He won’t have to wait long, if the Topshop’s opening day is any indication: 10,000 people were on hand to herald the store’s February 14 launch.
But then, Sir Philip is shrewd. He knew the arrival of Topshop was a cause for celebration, and, in return, he threw the store one heck of a party to mark the occasion, which became the biggest retail store opening in The Grove’s history. 10,000 Angelenos were on hand to experience the faux British block party, which featured male models in miniscule shorts, lemonade, cotton candy, temporary tattoos, free giveaways, a DJ and a live performance by pop star Demi Lovato; Hollywood star Kate Bosworth was also present.
The former may seem to some like a random choice, but with Sir Philip, every move is calculated. The 20-year-old Lovato, a former Disney star, appears as a mentor on close friend Simon Cowell’s Fox show, The X-Factor, and both he and his brand have been working at covertly changing her style.
“We’ve been working with Demi quietly for the last six months,” Green confides. “We’ve been dressing her and helping to develop her. My guys have done a great job. We’re just helping out.” As the results show given the 20-year-old singer’s newly chic style, his work has paid off.
Lovato isn’t Topshop’s only celebrity fan, of course: Jennifer Lopez, Kim Kardashian, Lydia Hearst, Ryan Seacrest, Randy Jackson, Julianne Hough, Kelly Osbourne, Jane Seymour and Russell Brand were just a few of the names who came out to celebrate with Sir Philip, his wife Tina and daughter Chloe at a pre-opening dinner held at Hollywood hotspot Cecconi’s on February 13.
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