By and  on May 1, 2007

LONDON — The crowds were subdued, but the official launch of the Kate Moss for Topshop collection in the U.K. on Tuesday was nonetheless a hit.

“It’s been sensational — very strong across the country,” an ebullient Philip Green, Topshop founder, told WWD late Tuesday. “I just left the Oxford Circus store three minutes ago and they were still queuing for it.”

The collection — which is filled with inspirations from Moss’ wardrobe, including racer-back minidresses, cotton tank tops in Crayola colors and denim HotPants — made its London debut Monday night, and eager shoppers mobbed the entrance to the store.

On Tuesday morning, things were a bit quieter. There were TV camera crews and paparazzi planted outside the store, but no crowds on the sidewalk. Lines of shoppers formed inside the store, beside the Kate Moss for Topshop shop-in-shop. The lines moved swiftly and easily throughout the day, and shoppers waited about five minutes to get in. As reported, the collection is not limited edition, is being sold across the U.K. and will be launched internationally later this month.

The black trapeze minidress with a strappy, cutout neck was a big seller: In the Liverpool store, the style sold out in two minutes; in the Manchester unit, it sold out in four. The Edinburgh store had the biggest sales rise in the country, according to a Topshop spokesman.

Bestsellers in the Oxford Circus flagship included a floaty cotton pansy-print dress and top, silver metallic flat sandals, cropped denim trousers and black HotPants with the buttons down the side.

“Everyone wants a part of Kate,” said Miok Jun, a shopper from Los Angeles who was lining up Tuesday to get into the new shop-in-shop. “She is the top model — and everyone needs to see the stuff.”

Nick Rabin, another shopper, was sifting through the pansy- print tops on Tuesday afternoon. “I’m looking for something for my wife. I guess I’ve been sucked in by all the publicity,” he said with a laugh.

Miwa Nagamitsu from Japan, another shopper, said she’d read in the newspapers about the Moss fashion frenzy and wanted to see for herself. “It’s something special — you can’t get it in Japan or the U.S., and I had to come and check it out.”

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