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John Lewis to launch in-house denim brand AND/OR

Lauretta Roberts
15 March 2017

John Lewis will next week launch its first in-house denim brand, AND/OR, in a bid to boost its fashion sales and attract a younger customer.

The British department store has teamed up with LA denim specialists Calvin Rucker to develop the 90-piece line which will comprise "innovative denim washes combined with high-end finishes", including busted-out seams, distressing, bleaching and frayed hems. The different denim styles are named after the places in LA that inspired the collection.

John Lewis will also sell a range of womenswear, shoes, accessories and lingerie to complement the denim clothing, which have been "inspired by the LA way of life".

The move to launch an in-house denim line follows the introduction of modern rarity, John Lewis's first "affordable luxury" ready-to-wear range, launched last September. The retailer claims modern rarity has helped to boost its own-brand womenswear sales, which increased by 6.8% during last financial year.

Head of womenswear buying at John Lewis Jo Bennett said that having launched a portfolio of own-brand labels, which includes modern rarity and Kin by John Lewis, in the past few years it felt there was "something missing" when it came to serving the younger woman.

"The idea for the AND/OR brand came from our love of denim which is the foundation of every wardrobe. We wanted to create an authentic denim range in LA that combined the high-end fit and finish at an accessible price point, which customers can style in their own individual way with a perfect collection of ready-to-wear clothing and accessories," she said.

Calvin Rucker was established by Joie Rucker, founder of contemporary brand Joie, and Caroline Calvin, previously Senior Vice President of Levi's. The pair said they were "very excited" to bring their 20 years of experience in denim to the British high street. "AND/OR is the perfect fit for us to do this. We are so very proud to be part of this launch," they said.

The range will be available from 22 March in 15 stores and at Denim prices range from £85 to £120 and will be available in sizes 26–34. AND/OR collection starts at £22 for a cotton tee moving up to £250 for a leather jacket and will be available in sizes 8-16.

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