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Limeys founder Wilkinson turns to men’s accessories

Former Limeys owner Roger Wilkinson has bought into menswear accessories brand Van-Niklas.

Wilkinson, whose Midlands-based designer mini-chain Limeys went into administration last year, has teamed up with Van-Niklas founder Nick Griffiths to expand the brand.

The business will continue to produce Italian-manufactured footwear and belts, but will add men's tailoring for autumn 08, with two-piece suits starting at £65.

Wilkinson said he decided to invest in supply after 35 years in retail because there was a gap in the market for a high-margin suiting supply for indies.

"We can offer independents a suit that allows them to compete with the high street," he said. "We will target multiples as well, but the product will offer independents more than a three times mark-up, which is higher than most."

The brand will be sold from a showroom in west London. A sales manager was close to being appointed as Drapers went to press.
Limeys was rescued from administration last May by private equity fund Arev, which also owns mini-chain Cruise.

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