Vibrant denim company Pepe Jeans celebrates the big 4-0 with the brand’s founder, Nitin Shah.
Pepe Jeans has certainly come a long way from its reggae hipster fans and andro-punk models trading bits and bobs for a pair in the heart of Portobello Market. Started in 1973 by Nitin Shah and his brothers Arun and Milan, the jeans were vibrant, colourful, and decidedly different from the drab Annie Hall trousers sauntering gloomily down London sidewalks.
The band of brothers created designs that were perhaps partially influenced by their African routes, but mostly by the loud, Clash-led epicenter that was London: “London at that time was raw and hot. It was a place to explore, with so many irrepressible and rebellious musical and artistic scenes. London was our main inspiration, in the same way that James Dean or Andy Warhol can influence. It was all about London, music, art, and youth.”
Forty years of Pepe, with expansions across Europe, Latin America and Asia, is no small feat; but the snap-happy Nitin shows no signs of stopping: “Forty years have passed… but 40 years is still not enough, I need 10 more… When something lasts for 40 years it means it has to be good… Pepe Jeans belongs to the people.” Pepe will celebrate the big 4-0 with the brand’s infamous Singular Music Festival, which features unique venues and emerging alternative talents — and the cycle continues.
Words: Elise Marraro (follow Elise on Twitter @PardonMe_Lissie)