Oct 8, 2018
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Topshop apologises over feminist display removal

Oct 8, 2018

If there’s one thing that fashion retailers must never do these days, it’s being seen to be disrespecting the views its customers hold. Those views could be about diversity inclusivity, sustainability and more. And feminism certainly makes it onto the list.

The feminist book display stayed in place for around 20 minutes in a Topshop store

Which is why it was a shock when Topshop took down a feminist display in a store less than half an hour after it had been put up. And Topshop seems to have realised it had blundered too as it’s since apologised and made a donation to charity.

The stall was organised by both publisher Penguin and the retailer and was part of the publicity campaign for a collection of essays called Feminists Don't Wear Pink (and Other Lies) that was curated by writer Scarlett Curtis. It was also supporting UN charity Girl Up

The whole story was played out on Twitter with Penguin being the first to tweet that “for anyone hoping to visit the pop-up, after a huge amount of work on this ground-breaking partnership we assembled our stand this morning and were raring to go – however, just 20 minutes later it had been dismantled by Topshop.”

A day later, Topshop itself tweeted: “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.”

Meanwhile Curtis tweeted: “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... #PinkNotGreen”

Topshop boss Sir Philip Green also commented, telling a newspaper: “I am fully a supporter of their cause and I’m sorry that there was a genuine misunderstanding.”

While Curtis and Penguin shouldn’t be too upset as the publicity around the cancellation of the stall has pushed the book up the bestseller list, it’s an own goal for Topshop with a large amount of negative social media comment at the weekend.

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