Philipp Plein has bullish plans for the imminent relaunch of the Plein Sport label, which is being reprised under a revamped strategy.
Amid the company’s restructuring, the Swiss entrepreneur is eager to grab a slice of the lucrative activewear market, which is valued at 312 billion euros and is expected to reach 400 billion euros by 2025, and that, he believes, no other luxury brand has fully exploited so far.
Detailing the plan at his Milan’s new sprawling headquarters, he contended that the segment offers broader opportunities than luxury since market shares are only split among six juggernauts brands, including Nike, Adidas and Under Armour.
He is confident that the retooled Plein Sport can erode market shares there, becoming a top-of-mind choice for consumers.
Introduced in 2016, Plein Sport was suspended, as reported, since the designer claimed its success cannibalized and interfered with the perception of the brand’s main line, despite having generated a turnover of 30 million in the first year.
Plein is committed to avoiding these same mistakes, he said.
“It’s extremely important for me not to create competition inside the group between the different brands,” Plein said, mentioning the company’s main line and the Billionaire label, also expected to undergo a revamp.
“We’re doing everything we can to avoid cannibalization between the three brands,” he explained. “A lot of luxury brands have created second lines….The idea was simply to gain more market shares, to open up distribution and open up potential clients they wanted to reach,” but weren’t able to craft second lines with a signature USP.
“Plein Sport is born not to be as a second line, or a cheaper option…it’s here to complete and not to compete…so we started to identify what makes Philipp Plein successful and we purposefully excluded those elements from Plein Sport,” he said.
Positioned in the premium activewear arena, Plein Sport’s price tags are slightly above Nike and Adidas levels, for instance, while its designs are significantly louder than one’s usual workout gear.
Plein contended that no skulls, rhinestones and applications — and, of course, no sartorial or denim pieces — will be featured in the Plein Sport collection. Supposed to be all about functionality and performance, items previewed at the HQ revealed the designer’s usual over-the-top approach is all but gone.
The collection is to be fully unveiled with a fashion show next February in what is sure to be another Plein spectacle. The brand’s e-commerce site will launch in April, while the first retail experimentations are planned for September 2022 with the debut of shops-in-shop and pop-ups.
The entrepreneur described this new venture for the Plein Sport brand as defined by innovation in terms of communication, commercial channels and even brand extensions, which, he teased, could include branded food supplements and gyms.
The project was held off for a year due to the COVID-19 and, in the meantime, the group underwent retooling, with the introduction of 10 licenses and a new HQ.