Milan Fashion Week without a Philipp Plein after party? We had come to terms with it through the pandemic, thinking that the entrepreneur had traded real life with the Metaverse and the only chance to ever attend one again was to teleport into Decentraland.
Not on Saturday night, as the showman surprised guests orchestrating the official launch of his Plein Sport brand’s first collection with a fair/party inside an abandoned industrial complex, filled with a customized Formula 1 truck, screens projecting 3D images of his NFT monsters, inflatables and even a drop tower.
Plein said he expected 6,000 people to attend. “Tonight’s a party for Milan,” he said.
Spectacle aside, the business concept he’s developing for Plein Sport harnesses the power of digital and physical and put an emphasis on sneakers, each coming with a complimentary NFT and a video screen-equipped box. It offers sportswear and active gear with high-performance qualities.
“This is not a luxury brand, this is a sportswear brand and obviously it will compete with all the sportswear brands in the market,” Plein said. “Even though it has a different positioning [compared to them], the price point is completely different than Plein’s,” he added.
Tracksuits splashed with the brand’s logos, a tiger and a scratch, mingle with metallic puffer jackets and yoga sets, basketball shorts and T-shirts spelling Plein Sport. The offering is mostly unisex and complemented by eyewear, while watches will launch later on. Sneakers are often chunky, cushioned and embellished with metallic details.
“All the new collection of Plein Sport, which is obviously a technical product, are really made for sport.…we say put on your tigers and run,” Plein enthused. The collection hitting retail in August is priced between 170 euros for sneakers and 500 euros.
The silver truck, formerly owned by the McLaren F1 team and taking over the industrial venue, is a roving pop-up store, Plein explained. It will start its trip in August heading toward central Europe.
“This truck will move across Europe for one year, it will visit every city on the map, and we will be launching an app to track it and see where it goes. The hundred first customers get the products with NFT [counterparts], so we will have a limited-edition collection of NFTs for each city to go with the shoes,” the entrepreneur said.
Plein has also bullish ambitions in permanent retail as he expects to open 100 directly operated flagships in the next couple of years. “This is a very aggressive development plan because we want to attack all the Nikes, Adidases and Pumas out there,” he said.
“As we have a strong retail expansion plan, our store concept will be very minimalistic…my idea is to operate the stores like IKEA, like Starbucks. The idea is really to make a revolution in retail also to allow us with low costs to expand very rapidly in the market,” he explained anticipating the first 10 stores will open as early as November.