By  on April 3, 2008

LONDON — DKNY Jeans has splashed a shock of taxicab yellow in central London with the opening of its first European flagship.

The 4,400-square-foot store in a former antiques gallery is DKNY Jeans' largest freestanding unit in Europe and features bright yellow and black shelves and display cabinets, screaming yellow outerwear and even yellow jeans.

The two-floor space, with men's wear on the ground floor and women's downstairs, recalls the airy art galleries of Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood. Packing crates are used to display merchandise, and plasma screens show off the spring ad campaign.

The store at 124 New Bond Street is a five-minute walk from London's DKNY flagship on New Bond Street. DKNY Jeans also has stores on Brompton Road in London and in Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham. The majority of the U.K. stores are located in shopping malls. A sixth store is slated for the still-under-construction Westfield shopping mall in west London. There are five DKNY Jeans stores in Turkey, and one in Greece, with another in the pipeline.

"After the U.S., the U.K. is the second-largest market for DKNY," said Mark Weber, chairman and chief executive officer of Donna Karan International. "London was the obvious city of choice for the DKNY Jeans European flagship and it has eagerly embraced the DKNY brand."

The line is also sold in London stores such as Selfridges and House of Fraser.

The DKNY Jeans license for the U.K. and Asia is held by Singapore-based Club 21 Retail Holdings. Owned by Christina Ong, Club 21 has been partners with Donna Karan International since 1995 for some Asian markets. It also manages brands including Giorgio Armani, Balenciaga, Marni and ck Calvin Klein in various markets.

Club 21 manufactures, markets and distributes the DKNY Jeans apparel collection for men and women in Europe and Asia, as well as managing DKNY Jeans freestanding stores and in-store shops. A company spokeswoman said the in-house Club 21 team had been working closely with the DKNY Jeans team to fine-tune the line for the European market.

Prices range from 79 to 120 pounds, or $156 to $237 at current exchange, for jeans. Leather jackets range from 450 to 500 pounds, or $889 to $998. The store also stocks DKNY accessories, watches, shoes, sneakers, bags and sunglasses to complement the Jeans collection.To mark the opening of the store, DKNY Jeans will hold a VIP event on April 10, with a yet-to-be-confirmed band playing in the street-front window. DKNY Jeans will also be conducting a "cool hunting" campaign, where scouts will snap pictures of men and women who embody the spirit of the brand. The images will be incorporated into a window collage at the store, in collaboration with students at Central Saint Martins.

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