MILAN — Pepe Jeans’ first Italian store was launched here last month featuring an updated modern retail design concept.

This story first appeared in the December 13, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Centrally located in the Piazza San Babila area, the 2,153-square-foot space is spread over two levels and features a more modern look compared with other units, said Isabelle Barroso, Pepe’s marketing manager.

“This store is completely different from the others we have in Europe because we wanted a new design concept,” said Barroso, adding that the company invested $600,000 to open it.

The launch was marked with a party for 400 people, and the venue was decorated with hundreds of white scented roses.

The store is fitted with Seventies-style furniture, oak wood walls, mirrors, pony skin panels and a chrome steel winding staircase that serves as the focal point of the space. An entire wall on the ground floor is devoted to the brand’s men’s and women’s jeans collection.

Fall’s denim bestsellers include a skinny fit model called Venus, and Brooke, a stretch fit version, both priced at $150.

“In the first three weeks of opening we sold some 700 garments, 60 percent of which were women’s styles,” said store manager Alessandro Sanfilippo.

The first floor houses a broad lineup of women’s looks, including shirts, T-shirts, skirts, knits, dresses and accessories from Pepe’s three main lines: Break Line, Culture Chic and Seventy-three. Retail prices range from $30 for white fake fur earmuffs to $102 for a gray cotton bubble dress and as much as $311 for military leather jackets.

Pepe Jeans, launched in the Portobello Road area in 1973, has annual sales of 260 euros, or $386 million, and a forecast for a 20 percent increase in 2008. Pepe Jeans is distributed in 80 countries with 55 freestanding stores in Spain and more than 30 other units worldwide.