Philipp Plein is perhaps the only designer one could describe as both under-the-radar and completely over-the-top. But if all goes according to plan, he hopes exhibiting more of the latter will mitigate the former. After years of staging elaborate runway shows in Milan — each one featuring a bigger stunt, and drawing a wider audience, than the last — the German-born designer announced that he will show in New York for the first time next February.
A rep for the brand confirms this won't be a one-time thing and that he'll continue to show in New York "going forward." So far, he has stores in New York, Atlanta, Miami and Beverly Hills selling his high-end sportswear — think black, embellished T-shirts, pants and sneakers — with more likely to come. Last year, the designer hired a president and CEO for the Americas. He also has a townhouse on the Upper East Side.
Philipp Plein shows that we've seen over the years have involved roller coasters, actual fire, Courtney Love on a conveyer belt with robots, a sea aquarium, Fergie, Fat Joe, Paris Hilton, a merry-go-round swing ride, a marching band, terrifying gnomes — those last six things were from one show — and much more. His ability to afford such extreme undertakings remains something of a mystery, though WWD reports that he's approaching $250 million in annual sales.
Last year, he told us that he stages such extravagant events because he is less established than the brands with which he's competing, and thus needs to compensate with more of a spectacle. In New York, where he's even less known and faces more competition in the Instagram-baiting category, Plein may have to up the ante. We're honestly a little scared to find out what that means.