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TOPSHOP’S OTHER KATE: There’s another Kate in Sir Philip Green’s world, the duchess formerly known as Kate Middleton. The Duchess of Cambridge did a spot of shopping at the Topshop branch near her new London home at Kensington Palace earlier this week. Topshop has confirmed the duchess was shopping at its High Street Kensington branch — a few minutes walk from the palace — early Monday evening. She bought a green-and-black knee-length polka-dot skirt, a cropped royal blue blazer and gold-colored swirl earrings.
Meanwhile, another high street brand beloved of the duchess has posted robust results despite the gloomy retail environment. Whistles said this week that total sales for the 2010-11 fiscal year rose 13 percent to 38.8 million pounds, or $60.9 million. During the 12-month period, the brand opened four new stores and two concessions, and is eyeing international markets — and the U.S. in particular.
Chief executive Jane Shepherdson said four more Whistles stores will have opened by Christmas. “The brand has also developed a significant international profile this year, and we are now actively investigating further opportunities around the world,” she said. The duchess famously wore a cream Whistles blouse for her official engagement photos last year.