The year is 1973, David Bowie has just released Ziggy Stardust & The Spiders From Mars, ´Slades Cum On Feel The Noize´was blaring out on stereos everywhere, Marlon Brando refuses to accept his Oscar as a protest against the plight of native american indians, Mean Streets, Live And Let Die, Paper Moon and Serpico are filling up the cinemas and Evel Knievel is the hero of the moment.
Meanwhile, three brothers from Kenya are hatching an evil plan. Nitin, Arun & Milan Shah are dreaming of setting up a british jeans brand that was going to conquer the world.
From very very humble beginnings the three rented a market stall on the Portobello Road in West London every saturday, every week, without fail. Even whilst all of them held down other full-time jobs.
Little did they know what was about to happen. Within a very short space of time and for no other reason that the jeans were good quality and fitted well, business started to boom. In a matter of years they had to move everything into a 25,000 square metre warehouse and set up new office spaces to handle the amount of business they were handling.
By 1980 Pepe Jeans London was rivalling all of the big US brands for No.1 spot in the market place, becoming the UKs most succesful jeans brand ever.
Bruce Weber was invited to shoot the first BIG advertising campaign at this time and with an unknown, soon to be super model, Bridget Hall. Several other shoots by Weber featured Donovan Leitch and Ione Skye, and probably the most memorable one of all with Jason Priestly.
Cinema & TV commercials soon followed featuring the likes of Leigh Bowery, sound tracks by The Smiths and a lot of bans by the censors for concepts which were just a little bit too naughty to get through.
Over the last 35 years Pepe has continued with maverick photographers, directors and talent and has had the pleasure of watching some of them grow into who they are today.
Business is good, the product is established and we continue down lifes path to see what gets thrown at us next.
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