Pepe boss leaves as restructure of European marketing begins

Pepe Jeans European marketing director Michelle McKenna has left the company months after joining, as the company begins a restructure.

Pepe is revamping its retail strategy with the roll out of a new range, Advanced Products, for autumn/winter 2000 and the launch of a limited-edition designer collection next year.

McKenna joined Pepe Jeans at the beginning of the year from Nike Europe, where she was retail marketing manager. It is believed she left in April without a job to go to.

Karina Goulding, who is minding the marketing function, is also leaving but it is not known whether she has a job to go to. A new European marketing director will be recruited.

Under the company restructure, creative marketing and strategy marketing will be centralised across Europe and run from Amsterdam. The UK had previously run its own marketing operation.

The company is also cutting the number of stores it distributes to as part of a strategy to move the brand upmarket. UK brand manager Guy Daltry says: “We will deal with fewer customers, removing the bottom end of the market. The new strategy will build, not shrink, the business.”

Pepe began to modernise its brand with the launch of the Advanced Jeans range in February. The Advanced Products range will continue the repositioning of the brand as a young, trendy label.

Male and female clothing in the range includes lightweight denim, wax finished fabrics, down jackets and knitwear. All have “advanced features” such as interior pockets, asymmetric zips or are reversible.

A press advertising campaign will support the range, which will be available from July.

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