Topshop dismantles feminism pop-up

Image copyright
Penguin Random House

Image caption

The pop-up was up for 20 minutes before being dismantled, publisher Penguin tweeted

Topshop removed an in-store pop-up in London used to promote feminism with publisher Penguin after 20 minutes.

The fashion retailer had agreed to host the pop-up with Penguin, to help launch the book Feminists Don’t Wear Pink (And Other Lies) with products for sale supporting the UN charity Girl Up.

Penguin said its team was “raring to go” but “just 20 minutes later it had been dismantled by Topshop”.

Topshop said its decision was from “a production and creative standpoint”.

The book, which brings together ideas on feminism from 50 women, was compiled by author Scarlett Curtis, daughter of director Richard Curtis.

Planning for the pop-up to coincide with the launch took “months”, Ms Curtis said.

Image Copyright @PenguinUKBooks

Twitter post by @PenguinUKBooks: 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 twenty minutes later it had been dismantled by Topshop.Image Copyright @PenguinUKBooks

In the planning stages, she said, there was no indication that executives on either side were unhappy with the partnership.

After hearing that the promotional space had been torn down, Ms Curtis said it was “heartbreaking and shocking”.

Skip Twitter post by @scarcurtis

End of Twitter post by @scarcurtis

Despite making the decision to dismantle the pop-up, a spokesperson for the high street retailer apologised and said it would make a £25,000 donation to the Girl Up charity.

“We are sorry – this in no way reflects our stance on feminism. We continue to fully support the sentiment of the book, Scarlett Curtis, feminism and equality.”

Naomi Colthurst, a commissioning editor at Penguin, tweeted the decision by Topshop was “proof, if proof were needed, about how much work is still needed to make feminism accessible for everyone”.

Topshop, owned by Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia Group, has been criticised on Twitter for the U-turn.

Image Copyright @fayfran

Twitter post by @fayfran: Unbelievable! Young women should seriously consider spending their money elsewhere if #TopShop buckles the moment Daddy wags his finger disapprovingly... #wrongmessagedelivered Image Copyright @fayfran

Image Copyright @Nikkiki

Twitter post by @Nikkiki: Come on Topshop, you should know better than this. So much hard work goes into these pop-ups, so why is it okay to dismantle this less than 30 minutes after it was put up? #FeministsDontWearPink #topshop @Topshop Image Copyright @Nikkiki

The publishing house said it was looking for alternative venues to host the pop-up.