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Plein’s stalwart PR department invites thousands of people to these shows, and thousands more wait in line outside. ’ And I say, ‘I want to enjoy and make people happy.’ That’s what fashion is about.”That’s one idea of fashion.“Last year was like a Backstreet Boys concert, with people fainting outside, trying to get in,” he recalls, showing me a photo on his phone. But in today’s industry, dominated by heritage brands and, relatively speaking, discreet luxury, Plein remains a curious case. I can’t afford to open a shop just for image.” Men’s wear now accounts for more than half of the brand’s total sales; Plein feels less competition in a world where even Dolce & Gabbana has abandoned gentlemanly flash.First came some leather travel bags he had made to serve as color samples for his leather furniture.
“It’s a magical place for me, where I can relax.” There’s a garage full of 0,000 Italian sports cars, the phrase every weapon needs a master written on its silver back wall in illuminated mirror mosaic.He has hired Iggy Azalea and Rita Ora to perform at his nighttime runway shows and at his after parties.Last fall’s gas station–themed show, at which Ora played and Naomi Campbell walked the runway, featured real explosions—some a bit too close for the comfort of the crowd.If the name Philipp Plein feels like it came out of nowhere, that’s because, by fashion world standards, it did. He didn’t work in marketing or modeling or styling or any of the side fields that draw people into the trade. The son of a heart surgeon, he took up furniture design in 1998 while in law school, mainly “to get independence from my parents,” he says.The simplicity of the business model appealed to him: Customers paid 30 percent down for a table or chair that Plein would produce cheaply in the former East Germany.