By  on September 20, 2007

The DKNY Jeans push into Europe and Asia is switching into high gear this fall.

Donna Karan International said that before the end of the year, it will open 11 freestanding DKNY Jeans stores in the U.K., Turkey, China and Thailand. These new units will bring the number of Donna Karan stores, including Collection, DKNY and DKNY Jeans, to more than 100.

In the U.K., the boutiques will be located on New Bond Street and Brompton Road in London, the Bullring mall in Birmingham, the Trafford Centre in Manchester and the Metquarter mall in Liverpool. In Turkey, they are to open at the Istinye Park mall in Istanbul, the Panora Mall in Ankara and the KoruMax shopping center in Bursa.

China will have stores at the Citic Square mall in Shanghai and The Venetian Hotel and Casino in Macau. Thailand's DKNY Jeans destination will be the Siam Discovery Center in Bangkok.

The openings are part of a deal DKI struck with Club 21 Retail Holdings in February. As part of that agreement, Club 21 is manufacturing, marketing and distributing 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 on those continents. Liz Claiborne Inc. maintains the exclusive DKNY Jeans license for North and South America.

Donna Karan has always used DKNY and its stores as a tool to export the energy of New York's streets, and the new DKNY Jeans store concept developed for Asia and Europe is no different. It takes its interior cues from the concept of a New York art gallery, and elements such as the contrasting use of black and white, pop-colored shelving fixtures and touches of taxicab yellow — one of DKNY Jeans' iconic colors — add to the feel.

The units will open with the fall collection, featuring looks such as leather biker jackets, chunky knitwear, silk and chiffon tops and jeans in an array of washes. The clothes will be displayed on handrails suspended from the ceilings, as well as on black and yellow metal display boxes, adding to the industrial feel. A smoky glass and mirror backdrop will display the label's logo.The interior design concept will also serve as a blueprint for in-store environments that Club 21 plans to open in department stores at the end of the year. Next year, DKI and Club 21 plan to continue to rollout retail with additional stores in markets such as Greece, Turkey and Macao.

"The objectives of building our entire retail network is to enhance brand awareness, increase sales and profit, while bringing a diverse core of new people to the DKNY franchise," said Mark Weber, DKI's chief executive officer.

The DKNY Jeans expansion is one of several initiatives DKI has in the pipeline during the next several months.

Singapore-based Club 21, owned by Christina Ong, has been partners with DKI since 1995 for some Asian markets. It also manages brands such as Giorgio Armani, Balenciaga, Marni, Mulberry, Dolce & Gabbana and ck Calvin Klein, in various markets.

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