Topshop enters India with Jabong.com
We caught up with the brand’s global design director to get a sneak peek
For Jacqui Markham, returning to Topshop this February (after a two-year stint at Asos.com), felt quite like a homecoming, albeit to the very top this time as global design director. She had, after all, been at the British high-street brand for 14 years, working closely to develop some of its most iconic properties: Markham was sole designer for the inaugural Kate Moss Topshop capsule in 2007, the fastest-selling high-street collaboration of all time; and she’s been instrumental to Unique, a sub-brand that made Topshop the first high-street retailer to show at London Fashion Week. She sits down with ELLE to talk about new beginnings, true Brit style and what she loves about India.
ELLE: How does it feel to be back?
Jacqui Markham: I feel like I went off on a long holiday and now I’m back to my roots. I didn’t think I’d miss the physical store [at Asos.com] because it is far more complicated when you’re on the floor, constantly presenting, but I did! I missed the theatre and the drama of it all, that tangible evidence of our work.
ELLE: Define quintessential Brit street style at present.
JM: I’d say, the Brit aesthetic right now is semi-tailored, with a boyish, almost Scandinavian element. Simple pieces mixed with denim, flat, pointed shoes, girlfriend jeans.
ELLE: What is the moodboard for the Fall/Winter 2015-16 collection?
JM: A cleaner, tailored story, slightly androgynous, with textured fabrics. There is a definite continuation of the ’70s, but much less of the hippie-casual vibe and more of a romantic, luxe spin. Think lots of William Morris-type prints, tailored shorts, midis, dip-dyed knits, fake furs, shearlings and sheepskin.
ELLE: Your own style is minimal and tailored too, isn’t it?
JM: Yes,I’ve got quite a pared-back style. Phoebe Philo, Acne, that’s my kind of aesthetic. I don’t like a lot of accessories. Black skinny jeans, a blouse and a mannish jacket are usually my failsafe go-to.
ELLE: Topshop finally comes to India, yay! Why was e-tailing, through Jabong.com, the best way to enter?
JM: It’s a good way to introduce yourself to a new market because you get to try lots of different things and understand what works and doesn’t, very quickly. Besides Jabong.com already has solid buyer data — I hear Indian customers prefer cash on delivery? — which helps us ensure that customers have the best possible experience of Topshop.
ELLE: Have you ever been to India? What’s your experience been like?
JM: I love India, at least what I know of it from the work trips I’ve taken there. We’ve had long-standing relationships with suppliers there and they’ve been warm and hospitable, welcoming us into their homes, cooking for us, extending themselves — it’s something I’ve only really experienced there. Oh, and traffic jams!
Flip through the gallery for a sneak peek
Topshop launches on Jabong.com this month
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