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. The collection is not limited edition, is being sold across the U.K. and will be launched internationally 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 lined 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, laughing.
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."In Oxford Circus, items were being restocked by the minute. Key pieces, such as a white shirt with shoulder graphics, sold out early in the day.
The greatest surprise, according to a Topshop spokesman, was the success of the line on the store's Web site. The site began selling the Moss line at 4:30 a.m. Tuesday, and had 25,000 unique users by 9 a.m. The stock allocated for the Web was sold out by 2 p.m.
(On another Web note, the paper goodie bags that Topshop staffers doled out to the waiting masses Monday night are currently selling on eBay. The contents of the bag? Candy, a bottle of water, an apple and a Kate Moss postcard).
The Moss collection is being launched today at Collette in Paris, and will bow on May 8 at Corso Como in Milan and at Barneys New York.
Green said Moss was far from a one-hit wonder — and that she had more ideas up her fashionable sleeves.
"This is just the starting point," he said. "She's got loads of ideas. We've got a big work session scheduled for next week, where we'll be reviewing this collection and talking about spring. Kate has caught the Topshop bug."
Green, who is reported to have paid Moss $6 million for the project, said they've been having fun putting the line together. "She's good to work with, very funny and she keeps asking, "'Are you happy with me?' Am I being a good girl?'" he said.
On Sunday, Green and Moss will zip to New York on the tycoon's Gulfstream to attend Monday night's Costume Institute gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Green will also use the New York trip to build on his plans for a Topshop store in the U.S. He was reluctant, however, to offer any details.
"I have a lot of meetings planned," he said. Asked if he would seal any deals for a store during the New York trip, he added, "Everyone keeps telling me I will."
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