Philipp Plein Opens The First Plein Sport Pop-Up Store For New York Fashion Week
Last night German fashion designer Philipp Plein threw a party where the lineup went around the block.
On February 9, he opened Plein Sport’s first pop-up store at 199 Spring Street in Manhattan’s retail-friendly SoHo neighborhood as part of his “global expansion plan.”
What does that mean exactly?
We know Plein for his luxury brand, which he founded in 1998, and he’s known for his extravagant fashion – whether it’s his skull watch line, his glittering men’s and women’s clothing or his handbags. All in all, they’re not cheap items (some of Plein’s handbags are $2,000, the watches are around $900, and some dresses can cost $3,000). But this will change.
“We’re not as luxurious as you think,” Plein said at the opening of Plein Sport last night as hip-hop blared in the background. A line of guests meandered around the block in Soho, waiting to meet the designer.
“We’re about to conquer the premium market, we don’t want to be luxury – it looks luxurious, but we don’t want to be,” he said.
Plein Sport sneakers, he says, range in price from $150 to $500. T-shirts sell for $90 to $170. “We’re not that luxe,” adds Plein, who names each collection numerically rather than seasonally.
This introductory collection of sportswear is called Collection Zero. “We don’t call it the spring summer collection, we don’t care in the sports world, you go to the gym all year round, who cares?” he said.
This is Plein Sport’s first pop-up after its mobile Plein Sport truck, which toured Switzerland showcasing the latest line of activewear.
“Plein Sport will focus on the biggest sport in the world – the gym,” Plein said.
“It’s a gym brand. When you see endorsements and sponsorships where brands give sports players millions and make them even richer, what for? We don’t have $50 million to give an athlete. For what, to wear my sneakers? We’re a brand for people, we don’t pay them to wear our stuff.”
“Everyone goes to the gym,” he says. “There isn’t really a gym focused brand yet, that’s what we’re focusing on. We don’t want to be luxury fashion or Philipp Plein – it’s about skulls and crystals, about the extra. Plein Sport is vegan.”
The sneakers range from basic black and white sneakers. There are also types of sneakers that will get you noticed – some have shiny silver and gold details, while others have bubble soles.
Last night, rapper Jadakiss performed a set to a full house while Plein posed for photos while making a roaring face like he was a lion. It may have to do with the fact that the tiger is a recurring emblem on many of Plein Sport’s garments. Many items also feature “the scratch”, a Plein Sport trademark with four jagged lines reminiscent of a tiger claw scratch.
“Sportswear is for everyone,” Plein said. “With Plein Sport I reach a lot of people that I can’t reach with Plein because we are too expensive.”
Keep an eye out for Plein Sport in your own city too, as Plein plans to open 300 stores. Next up in March is a second Plein Sport opening at the Beverly Center in Beverly Hills in Los Angeles. “We will open Plein Sport in malls, it’s a mall brand,” he said.
“It doesn’t matter where your daily training is practiced, it’s about being part of a community that shares the same drive to empower your inner beauty and personal well-being,” adds Plein.