Over the years, I have noticed that one of Topshop’s philosophical endeavors is to embrace the fresh face. We’ve seen this conversation flood our social media timelines with countless calls to #OpenUpTheIndustry made. I consider this topic to be a very diverse one that spans beyond the entertainment industry. The reluctance to give newcomers opportunities continues to affect the graduate, the model of colour, the fashion designer, the entrepreneur and the startup business. I love this about Topshop because nothing exposes a brand’s confidence more than choosing to elevate an unknown name. Earlier this year, Topshop further highlighted this brand trait by casting undiscovered British model, Lily Jean, in its newest campaign. “Finding an unknown girl to call our own is so exciting. Lily Jean has star quality; she’s a real, natural beauty and a completely new face for a new season of fashion,” said Kate Phelan, Topshop Creative Director.
It has also been said that the retail giant’s boss, Sir Philip Green has a knack for predicting the next big catwalk queens. Somehow, Mr Green always manages to snap up a star to front his Topshop campaigns just before they become fashion’s hot property. Supermodel/Actress Cara Delevigne made her Topshop debut in 2010 when she featured in the campaign video for Kate Moss’ collection for the store, just under a year after she signed with Storm Model Management after leaving school. In 2014, the brand announced Cara as the first model to star solo in a campaign for the high street chain.
Landing a Topshop campaign is usually viewed as an indicator of big things to come. If there ever was any doubt, a good example is supermodel Gigi Hadid, whose career was on a growth trajectory like no other in 2015. In addition to walking the runway for Chanel and Marc Jacobs, starring in campaigns for Maybelline and Tom Ford and appearing on the covers of some of the world’s top fashion magazines, Gigi was well on her way to becoming the model of the season. It was then that Topshop enlisted her to front their Autumn/Winter 2015 collection. “A rising star, in all four corners of the world, Gigi’s effortless, Californian style, together with her strong social media presence, makes her the perfect ambassador for the Topshop brand,” Topshop said at the time.
Once again, the leading retailer showcased its backing of new faces when it announced its New Supers campaign, starring a new generation of genetically blessed model faces. Topshop’s Spring 2016 denim campaign featured a host of rising stars including Imaan Hammam, Bella Hadid, Aneta Pajak, Sophia Ahrens, Grace Hartzel, Malaika Firth, Ella Richards and Marga Esquive.
Last month, Dutch model Luna Bijl model was picked to star in Topshop’s new summer campaign. With just under 50k followers on Instagram, the 19-year-old, whose portfolio includes Vogue Paris, a Chloe campaign and Armani, is the latest beauty to join the British high-street brand with a fast approaching boom in the world of fashion.