Swiss luxury brand Philipp Plein, known for its pricey and flashy men's and women's sportswear fashions, is making an aggressive push into the North American market. According to WWD.com, Canada will see at least one freestanding, corporately owned Philipp Plein store as part of the brand's global expansion.
Philipp Plein founded his eponymous brand in Lugano, Switzerland in 1998 by making bags and accessories from leftover exotic leathers. The fashion-side of the business launched in 2004 and has grown substantially since, now boasting close to US $250 million in annual revenue and over 100 directly owned and franchised boutiques. The brand is particularly known for its bejeweled leather and crystal-studded knits, and has sold very well in Asia, Russia and Eastern Europe. According to WWD, Plein’s sneakers retail from US$500 to $2,000; T-shirts are US$500 to $1,500; leather jackets are US$2,500 to $4,000; jeans go from US$500 to $2,000; dresses retail from US$1,500 to $4,000, and evening dresses are US$3,000 to $10,000. About 60% of its business is men's and 40% women's.
The luxury brand now has four stores in the United States, and plans to eventually operate 20 US locations within the next three years, according to WWD. As well, WWD reports that the brand will open "10 stores between Canada (company owned) and Central and South America (franchised stores)". Given that Canada's population is about 1/10 that of the US, we could see at least two Canadian Plein stores. We'd expect that given its initial popularity in Asia and Europe, Plein could open Canadian stores in Vancouver and Toronto. We'd further speculate a Vancouver location would be in the city's 'Luxury Zone' on or near the 1000 block of Alberni Street, while Toronto could see a location either in the Yorkville area or at Yorkdale Shopping Centre -- Canada's leading luxury-focused suburban mall, which just saw the opening of Saint Laurent Paris.
Plein’s first three US stores opened about two years ago — on Madison Avenue in New York City, Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, and at Aventura Mall in Miami. In September of this year, Plein opened at Phipps Plaza in Atlanta and next month, a store will open at the massive King of Prussia centre north of Philadelphia. The company has also reportedly secured retail space for future stores at Houston Galleria and at the Ala Moana Center in Honolulu.
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Mr. Plein told WWD, "I go to locations where I can make money,” going on to say, "When you have a great location, you don’t pay for advertising,” meaning that we can expect any Canadian stores to be in high-profile retail locations.
As part of Plein's push into North America, the company reportedly plans to show the women’s and men’s Philipp Plein collection during New York Fashion Week in February for the first time.
We’ll update this article as we learn more about Philipp Plein’s expansion into Canada.
*Photos by Philipp Plein.