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Home   Thanet   News   Article

Margate bang on trend as it features in collections by Top Shop and Fred Perry and is the backdrop for a Tatler photoshoot

27 January 2014
by Dan Wright
It may not be the first place you'd think of when designing a new fashion range, but Margate is at the heart of two big name clothes ranges this season.
 
The Kent seaside town - famous for the Mods and Rockers of the '60s and lately the Turner Contemporary Gallery - is bang on trend, according to Top Shop and Fred Perry.
 
The two clothes labels have released new ranges, inspired by the Kent town.
 
Fred Perry was inspired by Margate's 80s heyday

Fred Perry was inspired by Margate's 80s heyday

 
It also features in a photoshoot for the January edition of upmarket magazine Tatler.
 
Topshop's 'Kiss Me Margate' range harks back to the 1950s, while Fred Perry's 'Margate on the Run' collection is inspired by the 80s. 
 
Topshop's collection, now available in stores, ranges from crop tops to printed skirts, after their designers were influenced by Margate’s art scene and 'unspoiled seaside aesthetic'.
 
A spokesman said it was inspired by the "Kitsch-vintage chic of British seaside life during the 1950s".
 
Kiss Me Margate is the name of the Top Shop collection

Kiss Me Margate is the name of the Top Shop collection

 
She added: "Margate's reputation for its art scene and unspoiled seaside aesthetic positioned it as the ideal location for the design team to set the trend."
 
Fred Perry's offering, meanwhile, is for both men and women, with mods and rockers-style patches on a range of polo shirts.
 
It is hoped the range will conjure up images of weekenders enjoying the seaside air and scooter runs on the seafront. Their range hits the shops in March. 
 
The ranges come after the spotlight was thrown on the town when Mary Portas visited as part of her Portas Pilot scheme to breathe new life into town centres.
 
This Top Shop skirt remembers the old-style funfairs of towns such as Margate

This Top Shop skirt remembers the old-style funfairs of towns such as Margate

 
Fashion designer Deborah Ellis, the owner of Madam Popoff's Vintage Emporium in King Street, was pleased to hear of the town's recognition.
 
"I think there is a big buzz about Margate at the moment, with people coming down from London," she said.
 
"Hopefully someone will go in the shops and think of Margate when they see the clothes. Then they may come down here and visit my shop. 
 
Outside Madam Popoff's vintage clothing store

Outside Madam Popoff's vintage clothing store

 
"I think the clothes are quite nice but I wouldn't say they are Margate. I think if I designed them I would have made them a bit more saucier.
 
"And I think this is happening because Margate is in the press more now, people are realising and starting to really love it again.
 
"You never know if she (Mary Portas) may have helped with it. She is friends with Philip Green (Topshop boss) so maybe she is trying to help us in other ways now."
 
A spokesman for Thanet council said they it would be wonderful if new people discovered the area.
 
She said: "Margate, the original seaside resort, has a strong place in the English psyche, for its long-standing reputation for traditional seaside fun, now mixed with added cultural and creative edge. 
 
Deborah Ellis of Madam Popoff's

Deborah Ellis of Madam Popoff's

 
"Margate has a retro feel, with remarkable architecture, it has classic seaside heritage and is kitsch with eclectic attractions and live arts and music venues, plus many individual independent little places to shop, eat, drink and stay."
 
She said the collections showcased Margate's diverse heritage as well as popular culture, mirrored by its regeneration and boutique shops.
 
"Margate's reputation for its art scene and unspoiled seaside aesthetic positioned it as the ideal location for the design team to set the trend" - a Top Shop spokesman
Sandra Matthews-Marsh, chief executive of Visit Kent, hoped the new ranges would give a boost to Margate.
 
She said: "Topshop and Fred Perry are capturing the nostalgia and sheer fun of 1950s and 1980s seaside holidays just as we are enjoying a revival of interest in our top coastal towns – of which Margate must be the most famous – as short break and family holiday destinations.
 
"I do hope that everyone inspired by the beautiful, airy summer colours of the Topshop Kiss Me Margate range will come and see for themselves the beautiful coast that fired the imagination of the designers."
 
Botany Bay in Broadstairs featured as the backdrop for a photoshoot in January's edition of Tatler.
 

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