The importance of tailoring to the Topman vision
Gordon Richardson is the creative director at Topman. His previous experience includes setting up his own menswear label, which was stocked at Harrods, along with stints as design director at Sabre International and principal lecturer of fashion at Kingston University. This has all helped prepare him for his current fast-paced role as chief creative at Topman, which he’s held since 2012 after joining in 2000.
Renowned for championing young talent such as Kim Jones, Agi & Sam, Lou Dalton, James Long, and Astrid Andersen, he catches up with Esquire to talk tailoring tricks for SS17.
ESQUIRE: How important is tailoring to Topman?
GORDON RICHARDSON: Tailoring and smart dressing is becoming more important at events such as the Dubai World Cup and Melbourne Cup Races. We see these events as a real opportunity to understand our international customer and to learn what he is looking for.
Do your tailoring customers differ from those who buy your more casualwear or Topman Design range?
The guy who buys tailoring is maybe more discerning. He often has a specific event he is looking to buy for, a job that requires a tailored look or is just a smarter dresser in general.
What is your USP when it comes to suits?
I would say it is the variety of fits we have on offer. One suit does not fit all, so we have suits to fit every shape and size.
For example, we have just introduced the muscle-fit suit, which is designed with the more athletic frame in mind. We think this will do well in the Middle East. We also have the skinny suit and ultra-skinny suit, which have always given us standout in the market globally.
Tell us a little about the new relaxed-fit tailoring range.
It has been designed with comfort, climate and occasion in mind, and is aimed at the guy who wants to look smart but doesn’t necessarily want to be dressed to the nines. What we’ve done instead is trade the typical shirt for a plain tee, which gives the wearer a relaxed and more contemporary look.
What advice do you have for people dressing for big occasions this season, such as weddings or the horse races?
Do some research — is there a theme? How dressy should you go? Tie or no tie? Make sure the suit and shirt are clean and pressed and the shoes are polished. Do you need a belt? Or perhaps a pocket square? That kind of thing. Basically, always pay attention to the details.
What materials and trends will we see coming to the Topman tailoring racks for SS17?
New fits, for sure. We are really pushing the muscle fit, the ultra-ultra-skinny fit, the relaxed and deconstructed shape and sports detailing in the new travel suiting range. We will also be introducing some softer shades of grey, brighter hues of navy and blues this season.
The new SS17 Topman range is available at Topman, The Dubai Mall, Dubai