Known for his extravagant runway shows and bold styles, German-born designer Philipp Plein has opened a new 1,000-square-foot store in Miami, moving his US fleet to 11 VIP-selling stores, including the Penthouse near the Plaza Hotel in New York. customers by special appointment.
Pop-up for two years, the Miami store is part of the brand’s overall strategy to strengthen its worldwide retail presence, counting more than 100 stores worldwide for its multiple brands, including Philipp Plein, Plein Sport and Billionaire.
“Absolutely great to be back in the USA Two thousand and twenty-two has been an incredible year and so I have decided to increase our expansion in the West and opening up in Miami represents a turning point in my career. “I’m excited about this,” said Plein, whose luxury business is based in Lugano, Switzerland.
Located in the Aventura Mall, the boutique was designed by architectural firm Locatelli Partners. The store features a large logo and crystals, and a color palette ranging from black Marquina and white Carrara marble to acid green for the carpets and walls.
During a visit to his flamboyant New York mansion last week—his first return to New York in a year—Plein spoke quickly about the many ongoing projects at his private company. These include the launch of the furniture line in the USA; Explore new locations for stores in the US, including Houston, Costa Mesa, South Coast Plaza in California and SoHo in New York, a new store opening in Rio de Janeiro in November/December, and a desire to open a store in Canada .
The company, which will introduce Plein Sport to the US market in the first quarter of 2023, will present its first women’s perfume, Plein Fatale, on 13 October. There are also licensing agreements with De Rigo Eyewear and Timex for products such as eyeglasses and watches. , respectively, have been performing well since their first decline in 2021.
One of Plein’s biggest ongoing projects is a luxury boutique hotel with three restaurants, pool and nightclub planned in the center of Milan and expected to open next April. Plein plans to hold her spring 2023 fashion show in Milan later this month and will return to the New York runways in February.
Also, Plein said it has purchased a large two-level old Formula One truck for $700,000 that will tour Europe starting this month and sell Plein Sport. His plan is to open 200 Plein Sport stores worldwide in the next three years, and the retail concept is self-service. The stores will be approximately 700 square feet including stock and will have a limited busy offer.
But first things first.
“We’re excited for Miami,” said Plein, who was previously a franchise store in that mall for five years until four years ago. He preferred to have a store of his own there directly.
“We want a second destination in the Design District in the near future, but that depends on the location,” said Plein, who traveled to Miami over the weekend for various startup events. He said most of the good places are now taken in the Design District, but he does have a showroom there.
Plein believes her aesthetic is a good match for Miami.
“We are so bling and I am the bling king. I know my customers, I know my geography and I know my goals. A Miami client. I’m not making suits for a banker on Wall Street. I’m making a party dress. I make high heels to go dancing. I have colorful t-shirts for kids. I think fashion is about fun.”
He noted that many South American and European customers came to Miami for the holidays, and many relocated to the Miami area during COVID-19. Fifty percent of the Miami store’s products will be reserved for women’s wear and 50 percent for men’s wear. The store will accept cryptocurrency like others in the chain.
He predicts women’s clothing and accessories will be successful in Miami. “When a man buys a T-shirt, he spends $200 to $300. When a woman buys a dress, she spends $3000. The ticket is higher,” she said.
Plein has seen a strong customer base in the Florida area. Its 2,500-square-foot outlet store at Sawgrass Mills in Sunrise, Florida, makes $4.5 million a year. He said that when they first closed Aventura, people wanted to buy Sawgrass full price merchandise. They were taking online orders for full priced items for customers.
He expects shoes, which represent 28 percent of the business, to be strong at his new Miami store, followed by ready-to-wear. “We’re not very strong on accessories yet, but that’s something we’re working on,” he said. “We have big licensing deals. during COVID[-19]”We started the licensing business with big companies like Timex,” he said. For example, he noted that eyeglasses (optics and sunglasses) had 300 outlets in the US. It has become the strongest market for glasses.
He estimates the Miami store will generate at least $3.5 million in sales in the first year.
Plein said the company was performing surprisingly well in the US during COVID-19, “We had more local customers than we expected. I believe our business in America is heavily based on tourism. However, we saw a strong, local customer buying our product because no one from abroad came to the US.” He said people buy sneakers and casual wear.
Overall, he said, the company has seen increases of over 25 percent this year. During COVID-19, the company lost $90 million in turnover during the year. “We will fully recover this year,” he said. In the past two years, Plein has closed unprofitable locations, opened new ones, and relocated some locations. We passed the health check,” he said. The company cut costs and looked for ways to save money and make improvements. He said they closed some stores, but today they have more stores than before. He was able to find bigger, better and cheaper places. For example, on Rodeo Drive moved across the street and pays half the rent and makes more turnover.
The company closed its six-year-old Madison Avenue store in April 2019, followed by Atlanta and Philadelphia, which had not performed well even before COVID-19 and closed in March 2020.
He thinks New York is still recovering and has a long way to go.
“The city has suffered a lot. I’m not from New York, but I live here and know the city very well. I am saddened to see how Madison Avenue has gone to waste over the years. Barneys was the last flagship to keep Madison Avenue as a reason to shop there. Madison Avenue has become so sad, so empty and so scary since Barneys closed. Every second store is empty. Everyone has moved to SoHo, but prices have now skyrocketed. Fifth Avenue has become very expensive,” he said.
But he believes New York will eventually come back to life.
“There is a lot of money in the city. There is a lot of investment. “No one is going to let this go to waste,” Plein said. “New York will always be New York…people will always shop here.”
Plein said he doesn’t wholesale apparel and prefers to control his own destiny. However, some of their licensed lines are sold in department stores. “I don’t want to be dictated by a wholesaler on how I should run my full-price retail stores,” said Plein, referring to the frequent sales in stores. “I opened 10 stores in the US and we are opening more. I pay the rent, I pay the people, and I want to be responsible for when I put things on sale and when…
“We have a very specific product and we are niche. We must hold our niche position for as long as possible. It secures our future,” said Plein, who has been in the business since 1998 and says it’s not just flashy clothes.
“We are not just bling. We also have suits. We are maximalists,” he said.