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De Keyser to launch Jfour denim in UK

Fashion entrepreneur Robert de Keyser is to launch Italian denim concept Jfour into the UK and plans to open 24 stores over the next 12 months.

De Keyser, who is fashion agent for denim brands such as Rock & Republic, Iceberg and eveningwear label Jovani, told Drapers that he spotted Jfour in New York department store Henri Bendel and decided to launch it into the UK.

Jfour sells men’s, women’s and kids’ jeans. Adult styles retail at £99. Three fits are available – skinny, straight and bootcut.

The USP of the brand is its brightly coloured stitching and the way it is merchandised, with each pair of jeans presented on a brightly coloured plastic cone which resembles a spinning machine bobbin.

De Keyser is in talks to launch the label with a celebrity face next year and has put a significant PR budget behind it.

He also wants to open standalone stores in premium shopping locations including Bluewater shopping centre in Kent and Westfield London in White City, west London. The move is part of a strategy to shift de Keyser’s business away from wholesale into retail as the economic climate gets tougher.

He said: “Retailers are in charge of their own destiny at times like these. There are some great deals to be done on property, particularly when you can offer something as fresh and appealing as Jfour.”

Jfour opened a shop-in-shop in the Way In area at department store Harrods last month and will open in Harvey Nichols next year. De Keyser said he was also in talks to open 20 concessions with department store chain House of Fraser.

De Keyser will also wholesale the label and is looking for 75 accounts for autumn 09.

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