Pepe Jeans London
Denim brand Pepe Jeans London first launched its vision of detail-rich denims in 1973.
By Laura Turner
14 February 2013
London designer Nitin Shah and his brothers Arun and Milan unleashed their vision of detail-rich denims on a market stall in the heart London’s Portobello market in May 1973.
Limited production runs and attention to detail – from silhouette and fit through to wash – saw Pepe Jeans London quickly recognised as a denim brand with a difference. The Shah brothers left their full-time jobs, which they had, until that point, continued with to help fund the designing, sourcing and selling of Pepe Jeans London, and made the move of dedicating themselves entirely to the brand.
In no time, the company was operating from a 25,000 sq m command centre in London and, by 1980, was squaring up confidently to the American denim heavyweights and taking its first steps into new, international markets.
In 1984, the business opened a new LA office and showroom and launched into Ireland.
Hiring celebrated fashion photographer of the time Bruce Weber, marked Pepe Jeans London’s move into celebrity endorsed ad campaigns – something that would later become synonymous with the brand – with cinema and TV commercials following swiftly after.
The business’ expansion trial through Europe continued in the 90s, withFrance, Italy, Germany, Spain, Holland, Portugaland Switzerland all buying into the brand. The last few years have also seen Pepe Jeans London exploring emerging markets such as Latin America and Asia.
New lines have been launched over time, namely kidswear in 2002. It also introduced premium denim collection 73, the Andy Warhol by Pepe Jeans line in 2007, and more recently, footwear and eyewear ranges.
Today, Pepe Jeans London trades in 65 countries, selling through almost 7,000 doors at wholesale; it has over 380 stores internationally and employs over 2,400 staff while still remaining true to its mantra of offering directional denims and challenging young fashion.
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