On Wednesday afternoon, news broke that the designers of Topshop Topman will be stepping down from their positions on 4th September. Kate Phelan (who previously held the title of fashion director at British Vogue) and Gordon Richardson are leaving the retailer after their six and 16-year careers respectively, and will be replaced by a solo creative director, David Hägglund.
If you've yet to come across Hägglund on your newsfeed, don't worry. He's spent most of his career in fashion under the radar, despite the big-name publications and creative agencies that he's worked for. Prior to his appointment, Hägglund led his own consulting firm, David Hägglund Studio, was the managing director at Storakers McCann, a Swedish ad agency, and was the art director of Vogue Paris. Hägglund will oversee both labels simultaneously (his appointment comes shortly after the company named its new CEO, Paul Price, who was previously the chief merchandising officer at Burberry).
But who is David Hägglund? And what does this mean for our favourite fast fashion retailer across the pond? To be honest, not much is known about the Swedish creative, nor do we have any insight yet on how the look and feel of the Topshop Topman lines will change, but with sales across Phillip Green's fashion empire on the decline, the changes could be the first step to turning profits around.
Speaking to Drapers, Green expanded on the group's decision to bring Hägglund on board: "The appointment of David Hägglund in the newly combined role continues to mark the start of a new era for Topshop Topman in moving both brands forward in their ongoing global expansion. I am delighted to welcome David, who will be joining Paul Price, our new CEO, on the same day and I look forward to working with them both to drive the business forward."
The appointment of Hägglund may mark a new era for Topshop Topman, but it's the second of its kind when it comes to editors taking over design roles at major fashion labels. Earlier this year, Dazed editor Isabella Burley was appointed to the role of "editor-in-residence" at Helmut Lang, where she will oversee all creative aspects of the brand. As for what's next for Phelan and Richardson? No word yet on the latter, but Phelan is heading back to publishing, as Edward Enninful recently dubbed her a contributing fashion editor to British Vogue.