philipp plein is the willy wonka of the fashion world
As he opens his first flagship store in London, we meet the man with the Swarovski-covered Midas touch.
Philipp Plein autumn/winter 15
Philipp Plein, you're so fine, you're so fine you blow our mind. In fact, you've blown pretty much the entire fashion world's mind with your show-stopping spectacles that span the realms of fashion, music, theatre and art. So far there's been robots, rollercoasters, model-filled monster trucks, metal cages, boxing rings, a gothic forest, giant mushrooms, Paris Hilton, and candy canes galore. The Willy Wonka of the fashion world, you name it, he's created it. And then there are the performers: Madonna, Snoop, Nicki Minaj, Beyoncé, Iggy Azalea, Tyga, Usher, Courtney Love, Fergie, basically anyone who's anyone. Showing no sign of slowing down (in fact he's actually speeding up) Philipp has opened 33 stores this year alone, and another 30 are planned for 2017. Fresh from the launch of his flagship store in London (it's 50 shades of grey and filled with skulls and crystals) we caught up with the man himself to find out the secret to his success.
Telling us a bit about yourself and your background prior to setting up the label?
My education was in law, however I decided to abandon the idea of becoming a lawyer and pursued a career in design; in the beginning I was designing luxury beds for dogs.
What is your earliest fashion memory?
My mum shopping at Chanel.
What is it about fashion that captivates you?
I got into fashion purely by accident. I discovered that being a designer and developing a fashion company suits my personality perfectly. I am very focused and know exactly what I want and where I want to arrive. And I never stop until I get what I want.
Who or what inspires you?
I'm mostly inspired by street style: trends are made on the street. Personally I look at cool kids on the streets because they are the ones who wear the fashion of tomorrow. I designed my spring/summer 17 womenswear collection in NY and I got inspired by all those fashionable kids that have a really cool way to put all their clothes together.
What do you stand for as a brand?
The Philipp Plein brand is "in your face" luxury, strong and unapologetic.
Who do you design for?
I design for people who are self-confident, strong, sure of what they want and are not afraid to risk. And who also appreciate luxury and demand the best.
Each show is an incredible spectacle, almost like a party, where does this interest in theatre come from?
I love to create huge shows. I consider myself good at identifying and interpreting international trends in culture, lifestyle and amusement and I'm using this talent to develop spectacular and bold entertainment for my guests. I'm really having fun in creating something totally unique, my shows are an explosion of things, we are over the top, and we like to be like this.
What's the most spectacular event you've ever been to?
My last show.
What the secret to hosting a good party?
Good music, cool people, amazing special effects and a lot of champagne.
If you were to invite i-D over for a soireé what could we expect?
Expect the unexpected.
When you're not designing clothes, what can we find you up to?
I'm a real workaholic so I don't have much free time but I love to travel and I'm really passionate about art, design and working out.
What are you most excited about for 2017? What is it about London that inspires you most?
I'm extremely excited about my upcoming show in New York and of course about the massive retail expansion of my group.London is one of the world's most luxurious and cosmopolitan cities. For me London has always represented the cutting edge in fashion, music and culture.
What makes the London flagship store so unique?
I think the project, designed by the architectural firm Claudio Pironi and Partners is unique. The store is a mix of my new minimalist concept, an explosion of marble and lights. But the hexagonal marble staircase with overhead skylight that connects the floors is the most unique element.
Text Tish Weinstock