Topshop/Topman opening dinner at Paris Club | Photo gallery
Having launched dozens of shops in fashionable places like Russia and the Philippines, Brit clothing retailer Topshop/Topman has finally come to always-late-to-the-fashion-party Chicago. Despite a sluggish U.S. economy, it expects a Mag Mile store to be a draw for local fashionistas and tourists alike. And so far, the brand has masterfully put Chicago under its PR spell. Even Mayor Emanuel, I'm told, stopped by the V.I.P. preview day at the store. Topshop's brand hasn't been without controversy in the U.K., where it was once criticized for using cotton from Uzbekistan. It made the news in late 2010 when it had a flagship store closed by protestors upset about the company's tax situation. At the time it was reported that Sir Philip Green's wife Tina, the direct owner of most of the Arcadia Group behind Topshop, lived in tax haven Monaco shielding the company from billions in U.K. taxes, a perfectly legal arrangement as far as I know. It will be interesting to see if Americans take a similar interest in Green's business arrangements and those notorious American tax loopholes. In the meantime, Topshop throws quite a dinner party—mixing a few stars of stage and screen in with Chicago's media and nightlife heavies at one of this year's biggest new openings Paris Club. I assume my invitation was mistakenly sent to my country house, an unfortunate accident, I guess.