Since when did store openings start looking like Hollywood premieres? Yesterday Topshop, the British retail mega-giant, celebrated the inauguration of their US flagship with a flurry of confetti, paparazzi, and a line of people stretching over a block long, all waiting to get a glimpse of downtown Broadway’s newest addition. Previously, Americans seeking Topshop’s chic and affordable clothing had to wait for a trip to Europe, or order through their highly successful website. As a result of the covetability of Topshops wares, in addition to this difficulty in obtaining them, a certain mystery around the brand was created which more ubiquitous companies such as H&M lacked. All of these factors helped generated the kind of buzz and anticipation around the opening yesterday which can only be described as a  Mardi Gras-like spectacle. Comely young assistants decked out in bowler hats, mop tops, and union jack shirts helped distribute gift bags and certificates to those waiting for the store to open, while employees from nearby Madewell gave out coffee and donuts to the loyal masses, some of whom arrived as early as 8 AM.  Thought it was nearly impossible to approach the makeshift stage near the entrance without being swarmed by security, rumors buzzed that Kate Moss was there on hand to celebrate the stores opening. All of these things seemed more reminiscent of an outdoor music festival than a heavily marketed consumer event.

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