Oh Topshop, River Island, Ted Baker London, you all are held so near and dear to my heart. So imagine how ecstatic I must have been when The Bay announced they were opening Topshop in two of their Toronto locations. Yippy! Right? Wrong! I have always felt that when brands cross the pond they are never accurate representations of the original European stores. In the summer of 2011 I ventured on a very hot day from Long Island over to Manhattan to visit the Topshop store on Canal Street. I took two sweaty subway rides, got off too soon and walked about 8 blocks. One hour later I finally found myself standing outside the glorious store. Obvs I ran right in to take full advantage of their air conditioning, and only moments later I was let down. It was nothing like the store in Cardiff I was used to.
One year later and The Bay at Yorkdale opened up a lil Topshop store. I ran over on opening day and was once again let down. I get it, the markets are different, and they cant possibly carry all of the sweet,sweet British-style digs I had become accustomed to while living abroad. Don't get me wrong, I have a healthy obsession with The Bay, especially after all they've done to revamp their Queen Street location, hello, The Room! But it was just disheartening to finally be standing in my very own Topshop in Toronto and lacking that rush, that feeling of euphoria I used to get in Cardiff. In the UK it is virtually impossible to leave Topshop without falling love with (and purchasing) at least 5 items. Trust me I have tried to refrain but I could not.
I still venture into Topshop because I love the brand so much I cant possibly stay away. I finally purchased my first item this fall, a pair of gorgeous velvet brocade skinny crop pants.
Then one day while strolling in Yorkdale with hubby I spotted Ted Baker London. Much to my surprise the selection was GLORIOUS. We (me; but he paid) left with the stunning blue wool and leather pants pictured below. I would consider this a successful crossing of the pond by a British designer and I will definitely shop there again.
And while I am on the topic of Ted Baker, I'd just like to state that I am seriously coveting this jacket, Must...get....jacket...
Another successful import in my opinion from the European market is Scotch & Soda . Check out my precious, precious blazer hubby got me for Christmas. They opened a store in Eaton Centre but Canadians can also purchase from their on-line store.
What do you think about British High Street imports in North America? Are they all they are cut out to be? Which are your favs?