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A Welcome to Topshop from a One-Time Londoner

The countdown is over — Topshop and Topman finally are open! The store unveiling is the best Valentine’s Day gift from the brand Los Angeles could ask for, but for me, the big opening has me more nostalgic than anything.

I remember my first encounter with Topshop well. I did a semester abroad last year in London, near the brand's birthplace in Sheffield, UK, and decided to end a day of tourist activities by exploring Harrods, the city’s famed department store. I wandered around the Rooms of Luxury (yes, that’s their official name) in a couture-induced daze until I stumbled out of the department store palace onto Brompton Road, high on fashion inspiration but disheartened by the accepted realities of my checking account, only to find myself face-to-face with — could it really be? — a Topshop directly across the street. It felt like I was looking upon a shopping mirage, an emporium of stylish goods driven by the high-end designs I had just been ogling across the street. I entered a wide-eyed American and emerged a chic Londoner with bags of clothing in tow. This process — Harrods, Topshop, repeat — would recur often throughout the semester. Much to my delight, Topshops were sprinkled throughout London. The three-story flagship on Oxford Street required setting aside at least half a day.

Topshop is a fashion addict’s mecca because of its cutting edge, inspired collections that feel runway-worthy but come at an affordable price. Unlike brands with a similar philosophy, Topshop is not throwaway fashion; the pieces are sturdier and made to last. It’s no wonder so many designers have collaborated with Topshop to create capsule collections that quickly become collectors’ items. A location always belonged in L.A.

Thrilled as I am, I have to be honest; a small part of me is a little bummed that we now have a west coast Topshop. Call me elitist, but its inaccessibility made it all the more dear to my heart. My London Topshop purchases are wearable travel keepsakes, and I fear them losing that glimmer of exclusivity that makes wearing them so special. So I’m leaving today’s big opening to Topshop first-timers with hopes that their introduction to the store is just as magical as mine was. Once the crowds die down, my two best friends I studied with in London and I are making a pilgrimage to the Grove and reliving the good old days of hitting up Topshop for a new outfit before a night out on the town. After that, there’s no doubt in my mind I’ll be a store regular. Welcome to Los Angeles, Topshop!