Milan Fashion Week without a Philipp Plein after party? We’d come to terms with that during the pandemic and thought the entrepreneur had traded real life with the metaverse and the only chance of ever participating in one again was to teleport to Decentraland.
Not on Saturday night when the showman surprised guests who orchestrated the official launch of his Plein Sport brand’s first collection with a trade show/party at an abandoned industrial complex filled with a bespoke Formula 1 truck and 3D images of his NFT -Monsters, inflatable boats, projected and even a drop tower.
Plein said he expects 6,000 participants. “There’s a party for Milan tonight,” he said.
Spectacle aside, the business concept he is developing for Plein Sport harnesses the power of the digital and the physical, with a focus on sneakers, each of which comes with a free NFT and a box equipped with a video screen. It offers sportswear and active gear with high-performance qualities.
“This is not a luxury brand, this is an athletic apparel brand and will obviously compete with all athletic apparel brands out there,” Plein said. “Even if it has a different positioning [compared to them]the price point is completely different than Plein,” he added.
Tracksuits with the brand’s logos, a tiger and a scratch, mix with metallic puffer jackets and yoga sets, basketball shorts and T-shirts with the words Plein Sport. The range is mostly unisex and complemented by glasses, while watches will be launched later. Sneakers are often chunky, padded and embellished with metallic details.
“The whole new collection from Plein Sport, which is obviously a technical product, is really made for sport … we say put on your tigers and run,” enthused Plein. The collection, which goes on sale in August, costs between 170 euros for sneakers and 500 euros.
The silver truck, formerly owned by the McLaren F1 team and taking over the industrial site, is a roving pop-up store, Plein explained. It will begin its journey towards Central Europe in August.
“This truck will be driving around Europe for a year, it will visit every city on the map and we will launch an app to track it and see where it is going. The first hundred customers get the products with NFT [counterparts]so we will have a limited collection of NFTs for each city that goes with the shoes,” said the entrepreneur.
Plein also has optimistic ambitions in permanent retail, as he expects to open 100 directly operated flagships in the next few years. “This is a very aggressive development plan because we want to attack all the Nikes, Adidases and Pumas out there,” he said.
“Since we have a strong retail expansion plan, our store concept will be very minimalist. My idea is to run the stores like IKEA, like Starbucks. The idea is really to revolutionize retail and allow us to expand very quickly in the market with little cost,” he explained, expecting the first 10 stores to open as early as November.