STREET SIGNS: Italian sneaker label P448, which just set up shop on the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré in Paris, stands out from its swanky neighbors with its halfpipe at the entrance, graffiti-splattered concrete plinths and basketball hoops doubling as little round shelves.
Sandwiched between Lanvin and Ermanno Scervino and a stone’s throw from Hermès, the 6,000-square-foot unit opened Friday for 15 months, and boasts a commercial showroom on one of its three floors.
Wayne Kulkin, P448’s chief executive officer, balks at the term pop-up.
“We wanted to create brand immersion labs where we can share our love of street art and music,” he said, also calling the sales associates “ambassadors” who encourage people to hang out and discover the brand universe.
“As we think these stores are true labs, we seek one- to two-year leases,” he said, explaining that the retail locations gather “feedback to better understand our customers as well as getting live feedback that is presented on a daily basis from our stores and goes right to our design, marketing and digital teams.”
Previously home to La Perla, the narrow boutique has been stripped down to expose its brick columns, with the main sales area evoking a street basketball court.
P448 recently opened a temporary location in Miami, and its first “lab” location that opened in Manhattan last September is moving on Feb. 4 one block up on Fifth Avenue with a full-floor LED screen above the main floor.
“The goal is to open as many stores as possible in key gathering places where there are a high amount of domestic and international tourists,” Kulkin said, noting that his wish list of cities includes London, Berlin, Copenhagen, Shanghai, Austin, Houston, Dallas, Las Vegas and Manhattan Beach, where he grew up.
P448 was founded by street art enthusiasts Marco Samore and Andrea Curti in 2014 in a small town outside of Bologna, Italy. Kulkin met the duo and established a distribution deal in 2018 and bought the full company in 2020 with Hilco Global’s chairman and CEO Jeffrey Hecktman as partner in parent StreetTrend LLC.
P448 is in 1,400 global doors and half of its business is in North America.