Philipp Plein: 'Sportswear has huge potential'
Philipp Plein finds it "insane" that no one has offered an alternative to Nike sportswear until now.
The German designer found fame with his glamorous ready-to-wear women's offerings and edgy men's pieces, but has recently decided to venture into active gear with new line, Plein Sport. After learning that Nike is bigger than every other textile brand in the world, despite not offering the likes of jeans or leather jackets, Plein spotted a gap in the market which he’s hoping to fill.
"I realised I'm looking back to the old economy right now, and in this industry it's all about finding something new," he explained to Britain's GQ, noting the world has enough brands dedicated to shoes and other garments. "I couldn't believe that nobody in this industry has seen this huge potential, and huge demand for luxury active sportswear. Every big designer brand sells sneakers right now, but they're not active, they're fashion sneakers - you don't wear them to the gym. There is not one luxury alternative to Nike out there - and that's insane."
Plein understands customers may take a while to trust his new venture as they’ll view it as an "offshoot" rather than a label in its own right, especially as so many companies create diffusion lines to boost sales. However he insists his new offerings have nothing to do with his usual garments and that he and his team completed a "completely new division" that didn't exist before.
"Also we don't have studs, stones or bling here like Plein - it's a completely new identity from scratch," he added.
And although the designer is into sports himself, Plein insists he hasn't personally tested the products as it's a very technical process. A Plein Sport gym isn't in the pipeline either, with the clothes maker noting: "We just wanted to create an environment where people feel they are in an active, sportswear store as opposed to a fashion boutique."