The History of Pepe Jeans

Written by lindsey baker
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In a market saturated with denim brands--7 for All Mankind, Rock and Republic, J Brand, True Religion, Diesel, 18th Amendment, Current/Elliott and scads more--Pepe Jeans is a stalwart classic. This British brand has held court for more than 30 years with cool, laid-back apparel.

Time Frame

Pepe Jeans was founded in 1973, a year that saw young people flock toward denim, whether it was faded, embellished, patched or broken-in.


Kenyan brothers Nitin, Arun and Milan Shah founded Pepe Jeans with a small stall at London's Portobello Road market. They sold their denim wares every Saturday--and business expanded. By 1975, Pepe Jeans were sold at four market stalls around the city; they would eventually move everything to a 25,000-meter warehouse-and-office. By 1980, Pepe Jeans was regarded as the most successful UK denim brand in history.


Today, Pepe Jeans offers denim--as well as shirts, trousers, dresses, accessories and other casual clothing--for men, women and children. Manufacturing is done solely by Pepe; denim is carded, or cleaned of additional fibres, and typically dyed with indigo- and sulphur-based dyes. Many garments feature hand-embroidery, including the signature logo.

Fun Fact

The current logo, "Pepe Jeans" is a loopy script adopted in 1992.

Famous Ties

Pepe is known for its slightly naughty ad campaigns, which have featured Bridget Hall, Ione Skye, Jason Priestley, Sienna Miller and Ashton Kutcher.

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