Even though British fast-fashion retailer Topshop won’t officially be opening the doors of its first Los Angeles location for several months, the company’s owner, Philip Green, threw a star-studded dinner in anticipation of the new store, which is expected to open at the Grove in early 2013.
In a private dining room at West Hollywood’s Soho House, Britney Spears could be seen sitting across from -- and chatting amiably with -- Mario Lopez, as Simon Cowell worked the room, shaking hands with the intense enthusiasm of a political candidate working the crowd on a whistle-stop tour.
Seated at two immense tables that ran the length of the room were celebrities of every stripe, including burlesque queen Dita Von Teese, Will .i.am of the Black Eyed Peas, Sofia Vergara, Tobey Maguire, Nicole Richie and Isla Fisher.
Hollywood stylists were in the mix -- we spotted George Kotsiopoulos, Jessica Paster and Nicole Chavez in the house -- alongside an eclectic mix of L.A. power players (one example: Chateau Marmont general manager Philip Pavel).
“We’re now in 36 countries -- and we’re opening a store in Sydney [Australia] tonight,” said Green in his brief, pre-dinner remarks. “And we’re happy to be working on our first store in Los Angeles.”
“People have been asking why it’s taken us so long to get to this part of the world, and my answer is that we’re based 6,000 miles away and 150 new styles a week arrive in our U.K. stores, and that’s something we’re hoping to be able to translate to the West Coast.”
U.S. standalone locations include New York City, Chicago and, most recently, a 20,000-square-foot store in Las Vegas’ Fashion Show Mall. In addition, Topshop and Topman (the label’s menswear counterpart) apparel is now stocked in a handful of Nordstrom doors as well.
But the retail magnate also used the occasion to announce that Los Angeles wouldn’t be totally Topshopless until next spring.
“Yesterday we opened a pop-up shop on Melrose Avenue,” Green told his dinner guests. “Anyone can shop there -- as long as they call and make an appointment first.”
And, according to a company representative, that’s exactly what people have been trying to do -- with some 200 emails, phone calls and appointment requests flooding in, even before the appointment-only showroom for Topshop and Topman had officially gotten up and running.
That fact, along with the level of celebrity support the retailer seems to enjoy, means the more permanent Los Angeles store will likely be a popular addition to the Grove’s retail mix.
Topshop and Topman appointment-only showroom, 7977 Melrose Ave. (at Edinburgh). To make an appointment, call (323) 775-3974.