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Day Birger et Mikkelsen makes premium move

Danish contemporary brand Day Birger et Mikkelsen will take product more premium and open its first London store this year, following a deal last week in which founder Keld Mikkelsen bought back a 50% share from Icelandic bank Straumur.

Day Birger et Mikkelsen, which has 110 UK wholesale accounts and 16 concessions in House of Fraser and sells men’s and women’s wear, is now wholly owned by Mikkelsen, who originally sold a share in the brand to collapsed Icelandic investor Baugur in 2007.

Mikkelsen said he planned to take the brand more premium to counter the effect of inflation. He said he had already altered sourcing for the spring 11 collection. “We moved a lot of production to Turkey from Hong Kong because we get better quality for the cost,” explained Mikkelsen. “Cotton costs have risen about 25% this year but we can’t just put 25% on our prices. We have to be smarter about logistics.”

Day Birger et Mikkelsen will increase the number of pieces at the top end of its price range [about £450 at wholesale] by 6% for spring 11 and will continue to layer on more top-end lines for autumn 11.

“I want to steal market share from the luxury brands by creating detailed pieces that are expensive for us, but which are still half the price of luxury brands,” said Mikkelsen.

Day Birger et Mikkelsen will also introduce accessories and footwear for spring 11 as well as a small collection of eveningwear.

Mikkelsen added that he would open the brand’s first UK standalone store in London before Christmas, after which he would consider signing a UK franchise partner to open more stores. The website www.day.dk will also go transactional in the UK from August.

The brand will also open its first Selfridges concession in London this autumn.

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