While usually envisioned as the preserve of the elite, VIPs and friends of VIPs (VIProxies as I like to call them), personal shopping is something that we should all be much more focused upon. The brainchild of Mr. Giles Farnham and birthed in Topman’s flagship Oxford Street store, Personal Shopping is set to become an extraordinary ordinary.
Offered as a free service by appointment, you are met by either an individual or group of stylists who are incredibly obliging and engaging. While their shaved sides and thick rimmed glasses may intimidate those who are not usually big ‘shoppers’, I undertook my styling experience with a friend who is a self-proclaimed ‘non-shopper’. He enjoyed it even more then I did, basking in the attentive glow of the personal stylist who explained the basics of constructing an outfit and buying the correct size.
You are afforded the use of a stylish private suite, replete with a bar and moveable walls on which dummy outfits are constructed as inspiration. Even if you consider yourself an experienced and reasonably knowledgeable shopper of clothes, the pampering and privilege of the suite and stylists is enriching, whilst the ability to sweep the shop floor for a pile of clothes, bring them back to a private changing room and try them on at your own pace is incredible. Never underestimate the practicality of being able to put down your bags and coats when you shop!
When I quizzed Giles about the experience and its future, here’s what he said:
What was your aim when you established Topman Personal Shopping and how has it changed since it was first set up?
Our aim when we launched was to create a luxury environment within Topman that guys would feel comfortable in and be able to relax and take the stress out of shopping. The service is complimentary and all clients are offered refreshments from our bar.
We have five handpicked Personal Shoppers that work with you, so that you leave with feeling confident with your purchases.
What are your plans for the future of the brand?
Since our launch in June 2011, the response has been incredible. Guys love this new found shopping experience and we have gone from strength to strength – with the service opening our new Los Angeles store this February before the Oscars!
As a brand, Topman has progressed so much in the last 5 years. It is a leader on the high street and on the catwalk at London Men’s Collections 2013. Topman is a sponsor of this with the British fashion Council.
Do you think other high-street stores will follow in your stead and begin to offer personal shopping to their customers?
Others have followed but not to the level and the quality of service we give our clients here at Topman Oxford Circus.
Provided in three levels: Express, Edit and Experience – all ordered by increased time and attentiveness of stylists, Topman have created a brilliant service that can be used and greatly enjoyed by anyone.
This reporter has also been informed that there are plans in motion to extend the service to other major Topman stores across the country and even to provide services for large parties – so watch this space.
For more details and to book and appointment go to the Topman Personal Shopping site.