Christopher Kane, Mary Katrantzou, and, most recently, J. W. Anderson have all designed capsule womenswear collections for Topshop. Now, its male counterpart Topman has adopted the approach and hired up-and-coming menswear duo Agi & Sam to create the first full designer collection for the company.
Agape Mdumulla and Sam Cotton launched their signature line in 2010, mixing tongue-in-cheek pop culture references via colorful print with a classically tailored silhouette. “When we started, we wanted to do something that was more kind of fun— fashion was so serious… To us it is just clothes,” Cotton says.
The duo presented their last three collection with MAN, a Topman sponsorship initiative. “We’ve been watching these two talented young designers grow and mature the past seasons under our sponsorship, and feel their aesthetic is very much in the Topman world,” says Gordon Richardson, Topman’s Creative director.
Originally taking inspiration from the sporty atmosphere brought upon London by the Olympic games last summer, Mdumulla and Cotton started researching vintage soccer uniforms and imagining a collection worn by one of Britain’s first celebrity soccer players and style-icon, the late George Best. “The premise of the collection was calling the soccer club ‘The Owls.’ And all the prints were inspired by owls themselves,” Mdumulla explains.
The source of inspiration is clear throughout the collection: owls and feathers are printed on soccer kits, polos, sweatshirts, and a long raglan-sleeved trench. Suits and shirts are decorated with enlarged prints of nests.
AGI & SAM FOR TOPMAN IS AVAILABLE IN STORES STARTING MAY 16.