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DKNY Jeans

The US designer denim brand brings a New York art gallery vibe to New Bond Street.

DKNY Jeans has brought a slice of the Big Apple to the UK in the form of its handful of standalone stores, the first of which opened in Birmingham in December. In April it opened a flagship on London’s New Bond Street, featuring a concept based on New York’s art gallery district.

The vibe is uber cool. Outside, the shopfront is black, with a matte silver logo. As shoppers enter the store they are met by several matte black mannequins, funky rock beats and the designer denim brand’s signature New York taxicab yellow on fixtures and product, which brightly contrasts with the predominantly black walls and white floors and ceiling.

Set over two floors, the ground floor is dedicated to menswear, while the larger basement – twice the size – is home to womenswear. As far as merchandising is concerned, “hanging” is a key theme. Rails are suspended from the high ceilings from which jeans hang on hooks so customers can see each style clearly, while mirrors dangle from metal fixtures.

Front- and side-facing metal rails display the collection, which is merchandised by colour and product groups, while footwear is cleverly merchandised on small crates made to look like starting blocks; along the bottom shelf one shoe is laid out flat and the other is slightly tilted, as if ready to sprint away. All of the footwear – like watches and sunglasses, which are displayed in boxes fixed to the walls – is from the DKNY mainline, rather than DKNY Jeans.

Contrasting with the metal rails are wooden crates of varying heights and sizes with mirrored surfaces that display shorts, bags and footwear, plus pine tables with black surfaces and indented shelves that show off T-shirts and bags. Lingerie, which launched for spring 08, is displayed on free-standing metal fixtures.

Lighting plays a key role in the storefit, both on the shop floor and in the changing rooms. Spotlights brighten up the store, while lightbox panels fill the walls of the spacious changing rooms, which feature metal piping as clothes rails. The lightboxes alternate with mirrored panels so that, together with mirrored doors, customers get a 360-degree view when trying on outfits. There are three changing rooms on each floor.
A plasma screen in the basement shows DKNY Jeans’ campaign shots, while a smoked glass mirrored backdrop on the ground floor and basement carries DKNY Jeans branding.

The same storefit has been used in all of the brand’s UK shops, which have been opening since December in Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and Brompton Road in west London, and in shop-in-shops such as House of Fraser and Harrods.

DKNY Jeans’ retail concept, which has been designed in-house, is certainly working: the company says its UK stores have exceeded sales targets to date.

DKNY Jeans 124 New Bond Street, London W1S


Essentials

5: Number of DKNY Jeans stores in the UK
4,400sq ft: Size of the New Bond Street store in London
1990: The year when DKNY Jeans was launched
100-plus: Number of DKNY stores worldwide

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