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C17 relaunches under Stuarts London owner

French denim brand Ce Dix Sept, otherwise known as C17, has relaunched for autumn 19 under Ravi Grewal, co-owner of menswear independent Stuarts London.

Founded in 1972 and originally owned by the Desalles family, it gained popularity in the 1980s and 1990s before it ceased trading in the mid-2000s. 

Grewal bought the brand trademark and licensing of C17 seven months ago. He will act as chief executive of the brand, and its wholesale will be managed by Mark Batista at Brand Progression agency. 

“There is no denim brand that comes with such a history and fan base,” Grewal told Drapers. “The market is dominated by skinny fits at the moment, but as a buyer I’m finding that everything is getting looser and C17 was at the forefront of introducing baggy jeans.

“The timing has never been better for C17 to return to the market. We stocked it back in the day [at Stuarts] and, like many of our fashion retail contemporaries, can clearly recall what a commercial success it was.”

The brand will relaunch with a 33-piece collection that is a mix of new and archive pieces.

Grewal said: “We didn’t have access to an archive collection, so we spent the first half of last year buying product from Ebay and other online marketplaces. We’ve inspired our collection from that and already have customers asking for specific archive pieces to come back.” He added that the brand had already received “very positive” feedback from buyers who were impressed by the authenticity of the revival.

Key items include an oversized Japanese Melton wool bomber in a gingerbread colour and double-pocketed oversized shirts. However, denim will be the driver of the brand.

Jeans are available in three fits: the regular tapered fit, the straight fit and the looser “DNA” fit, which is a tribute to denim of the 1980s. The collection also includes a sweatshirt range and made in England knitwear. 

Wholesale prices range from £13 for a T-shirt to £116 for a jacket, and mark-up is 2.7.

The brand is launching first in the UK in July, and has at least 10 retailers secured, including Stuarts London. But C17 has its sights set on the US and Europe in the near future. 

“We wanted to look at the home territory first and then move into other countries, but we have got a good expansion plan in place,” said Grewal. “We’re looking at like-for-like markets that are near to the UK so that consumers remember and understand the product, such as Italy, Belgium, Spain and Amsterdam.”

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