Upstart Italian brand takes on Kate and Sir Philip

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The Independent Online

An Italian young fashion brand plans to take on Sir Philip Green and Kate Moss by giving Topshop a run for its money in the UK.

Brandy Melville, founded in Rome over thirty years ago by the Marsan family, is poised to open its first UK shop in London and has plans to create a chain across the UK.

It has more than 40 stores in Europe as well as around 10 shops in the US.

The first UK store will open at 33 King's Road in London this autumn, with a mission to lure young shoppers away from TopShop, owned by Sir Philip and promoted by Ms Moss (left).

Marc Dorde, managing director of Brandy Melville in Europe and grandson of the founder, said: "Opening in King's Road is the first step. Soon we will be looking for a flagship in Covert Garden, followed by Cambridge, Oxford and more."

The property agent Kitchen La Frenais Morgan has worked with the brand in France via The International Retail Network (TIRN) and has been hired to search for stores across the UK.

Brandy Melville targets 15- to 25-year-old women. But the young fashion sector is crowded in the UK, with both high-street chains and online ventures, such as Asos, competing for shoppers. The US-based newcomer Forever 21 has found it tough and has had to review its strategy.