StreetTrend has gone vertical and is thinking big.
The company — launched in 2017 by chief executive officer Wayne Kulkin with the help of Hilco Global and its ceo Jeffrey Hecktman — has bought full control of P448, the European fashion sneaker brand it has been distributing.
Kulkin spent more than 25 years as ceo of Stuart Weitzman and is bringing a little of the old magic to StreetTrend, but in a new way. He also has some new help: Karen Katz, formerly president and ceo of Neiman Marcus, has been named chairman of the company’s advisory board.
StreetTrend has been busy during the pandemic. In addition to consolidating control of P448, which saw an 800 percent sales boost on its digital channels during the first half, the firm launched a new design and creative services group called TheProjectSociety. The effort has a 20,000-square-foot design studio in Elda, Spain, which helped the firm introduce footwear collections for four lifestyle brands with all the production and sourcing being handled in Italy and Spain.
So instead of hunkering down during the pandemic, Kulkin is shuttling back and forth between the two countries, while looking to expand the business out to more markets around the world.
And the coronavirus, for all its pain, has also helped people connect in new ways.
“It’s not good, but it’s also not bad,” Kulkin said of the new mind-set that’s developed. “It is what it is, it’s our new reality. I think people need to be brave and bold and go out there and find ways to create jobs and find ways to save factories.”
As StreetTrend reaches out across the world, it is building in far-flung markets, but thinking globally from a brand perspective.
“We really think the world is one place, even though it’s a troubled place,” he said. “We want to develop a strong growth strategy with a China strategy and India strategy and a U.S. strategy all at one time. Wherever you go, through our brand you’re getting the same message, the same design, the same authenticity.”
Kulkin said P448 would ship 300,000 pairs this year and, with much of 2021 already booked, is looking at triple-digit growth next year.
“Wayne has a grand vision for StreetTrend, and he has been successfully executing against it since we first met several years ago,” Hecktman said. “Wayne describes StreetTrend as a modern-day incubation company — built from new global businesses and brands in the men’s and women’s fashion and streetwear sectors, with a focus on footwear ranging from sneaker to lifestyle categories for the consumer who wants fashion, technology and fit.”