Fashion Pop-up Marketing

Topshop 'sorry' for abruptly dismantling partner's feminist pop-up book stall


By John McCarthy, Opinion editor

October 7, 2018 | 7 min read

Topshop has clashed with feminists over the brand's decision to dismantle an instore feminist book pop-up from partner Penguin Books, that looked to raise money for a UN charity.

Topshop pop-up

Penguin's Topshop pop-up

The stall, operated by Penguin's Scarlett Curtis, author of 'Feminists Don't Wear Pink and other lies', was erected and promptly dismantled on Friday morning by staff in Topshop. The stall promoted the book, a modern outlook of feminism and looked to support of UN charity Girl Up.

As it happened, Curtis said, "I'm not allowed to say much on this right now but let's just say I am heartbroken and the patriarchy is still alive and kicking." She later aimed the takedown at Topshop owner Sir Phillip Green and encouraged further activity with #PinkNotGreen.

A report in The Guardian suggests that the takedown was issued by personally by Green himself after seeing the placement.

Penguin suggested it "aims to prove that the word ‘feminist’ is accessible to everyone. Today’s events suggest there is still some work to do."

The move from Topshop garnered criticism for the brand. Especially with it being one of the UK's leading fashion retailers.

A Topshop spokesperson issued an apology and a vague explanation.

“Yesterday we made the decision from a production and creative standpoint to retract the Feminists Don’t Wear Pink and Other Lies pop-up from one of our stores. We are sorry - this in no way reflects our stance on feminism and we will be making a donation of £25,000 to Girl Up. We continue to fully support the sentiment of the book, Scarlett Curtis, feminism and equality.”

It never expanded on the "production and creative" issues caused by the pre-organised, temporary pop-up.

Green told The Mail on Sunday: "I am fully a supporter of their cause and I’m sorry that there was a genuine misunderstanding." Again, the explanation fell short of explaining what the actual misunderstanding was.

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