The label has always been “ahead of the curve.”
In 2021, the label was one of the first fashion brands to accept a variety of cryptocurrencies. They worked with Coinify to accept 15 digital currencies in many of their 80+ stores worldwide.
Coinify is designed to work only with external crypto wallets and crypto can be bought directly through Ledger, a wallet provider.
“I believe that cryptocurrencies are the future and my team and I have made a major commitment in time and resources, performing all necessary system modifications to adopt this new type of currency,” Plein said in a press release.
Philipp Plein Buys Metaverse Land in Decentraland
Then, in February, the label invested 1.2 million in digital real-estate. In Decentraland, the 65 plots cost 520 mana, equivalent to 1.4 million dollars.
The Argentinian-made platform’s plots of land are bought and sold as NFTs. This purchase is large by many standards, but is by no means the largest real-estate purchase in the platform.
It was significant enough, however, for crypto-watchers to want to know what Plein was planning. With the digital land, the label set out to build Plein Plaza, where they set up build retail stores, a museum, and more. At the time, they announced that they were working with 3D artist and designer Antoni Tudisco.
“I am very excited and truly proud for having seized this opportunity to own a plot of land in the metaverse, and to be involved so quickly in the development and creation of this new world,” said Plein at the time.
The large asset purchase indicates the trust the brand is putting in the future of NFTs and the metaverse, a value he appears to bank on even today.
“We are there to stay, in order to develop and share the creativity of all our labels in this new dimension for human interaction, in which I personally believe a great deal,” he added, in an interview with Fashion Network.
Now, the designer has launched Pleinsport.
The collection features a robot named Romeo, who is 1 of 3 NFTs. The collection of sneakers lives in the metaverse but is not exclusive to the metaverse– the launch is a buy-as-you see collection that comes with an NFT pair of sneakers that buyers can either trade or “burn” onto their avatar.
Introducing Plein Plaza
The launch also includes a guided tour of Plein’s Plein Plaza, along with an exhibition of a series of unreleased NFTs designed by the 2022 established art duo, “Crypto Kings.” Crypto Kings is a pseudonym for the collaboration between Plein and Tudisco.
“I have watched NFTs become just as valuable as traditional art,” says Antoni Tudisco as creative director. “I am excited to help Plein Plaza become a reality and see how many other fashion brands quickly follow Philipp’s lead.”
The brand is the first to work with Tudisco.
Plein Group now has a special digital department dedicated to software testing for the new online ventures of Plein Plaza and beyond.
This launch marks a type of blended reality that we should expect to see in the future. Though Plein appears to be a pioneer in this realm–other brands should be soon to follow. The metaverse is expected to be worth $80 billion by 2025, and brands that want to get ahead are just as forward-thinking as Plein.
“The metaverse does not necessarily refer to a specific type of technology, but rather to a shifting interaction we have with the virtual space as we move to integrate it with the real one,” said Plein, describing a future world that seamlessly blends the physical and digital world.
He joined forces with blockchain auction house Portion to drop a range of sneaker styles. Each pair comes with an NFT companion.
Plein is not open to going completely digital, however, as his “work is to sell fashion, I’m not speculating on selling NFTs, but we want to give an added value in the metaverse.”
The digital wearables are available in Decentraland.
Philipp Plein is Bringing Bold to the Metaverse
Philipp Plein has his own complex history. He has been revered by the fashion community for his unique, flashy style. On the other side of the coin, the Munich-based designer has his history of toeing the line between making headlines and scandalizing the fashion industry. He is controversial–even in 2020, he drew scathing headlines when his tribute show to the late Kobe Bryant featured two gold helicopters.
His flashy lifestyle, as displayed in Instagram posts of expensive cars, has drawn many eyerolls. Money — and spending it — is part of his over-the-top image and brand.
For his 2016 autumn and winter collection, an armada of monster trucks drove on the runway amongst the models. The transactional relationship he’s cultivated with models surely racks up some of the costs of his shows as well. He’s brought on celebrities like Chris Brown, Snoop Dogg, Lindsay Lohan, Naomi Campbell and others. They make for great headlines, but for fashion high-brows, it comes off as tacky, showy, and crass.
That’s just how he likes it. The designer’s history with expensive shows has drawn curious eyes–how does he fund these extravagant spectacles?
Supposedly, he got his start in Munich from an investment from his father.
In an interview with Financial Times he said, “I needed to sell things that were different, not comparable, to the rest of the market. If I didn’t, I’d look like a wannabe.”
He debuted with pet products when his Burberry dog bed was destroyed by his pups. He launched a steel dog bed and it took off. He began his career in fashion in 2003, when he made leather bags with matching leather leashes for dogs.
It’s all about showmanship for Plein. There is something thrilling about his nightclub-chic style that’s magnetic and drawn in uber-rich clientele. Plein is a cunning businessman and knows how to draw a crowd, so it’s no surprise he is catching on to the potential of NFTs and technology.