Translated by
Nicola Mira
Sep 9, 2020
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Philipp Plein forced to downsize

Translated by
Nicola Mira
Sep 9, 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic has seriously hit Philipp Plein, forcing the luxury label -- founded in 1999 by the eponymous German designer -- to restructure. It has downsized its staff and Milanese presence, while some key figures have left the company, among them general manager, Ennio Fontana.

Philipp Plein has closed down its headquarters in Milan - ph Dominique Muret

Fontana had been working alongside Philipp Plein for two decades, as indicated by German industry magazine TextilWirtschaft, which reported the news citing a variety of sources. Fontana was Plein's right-hand man, a key figure in the meteoric rise of a label whose revenue in 2018 was estimated at approximately €250 million. Fontana had also acquired a minority stake in Billionaire, the luxury menswear label bought by Philipp Plein in 2016.
Among the other managers exiting, Maddalena Bertoli Tedeschi, the communications director, who has left Philipp Plein to join Italian label, Luisa Spagnoli, taking charge of marketing. Local media have also indicated that Philipp Plein’s worldwide retail director, Andrea Lanza Cariccio, has left. Contacted by FashionNetwork.com, the label did not confirm the news.

Heavy losses caused by pandemic

In a podcast published by German journalist Tom Junkersdorf last August, Philipp Plein lamented an €80 million revenue shortfall, due to the lockdown measures and the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the fact it had to dismiss 200 employees.

The group, which is based in Lugano, Switzerland, has also had to jettison the prestigious Milanese headquarters it inaugurated in September 2016, extending over 3,000 m2 on seven floors. The entrance to the building, located at 21 Via dei Giardini, close to Milan's luxury shopping district, is now shuttered by a metal grille. The building has been emptied out and the label’s logo taken down.

Philipp Plein still retains a presence in Milan, however. Not only with its two stores, located in Via Montenapoleone and Corso Venezia, but also with the showroom in Via Bigli, the label’s first address to open in the Italian city in 2009. The label is said to be reorganising to make its Swiss headquarters the key hub, with an extra emphasis on digital tools and marketing initiatives.

Philipp Plein, which launched its first fragrance in early 2020, closed down the Plein Sport sportswear line in 2019. The latter had been introduced in 2016 via dedicated monobrand stores, and is now part of the main collection.

Philipp Plein unveiled its menswear collection with a video last July, and is about to do the same for its Spring/Summer 2021 womenswear collection. The presentation will be streamed live online on September 25, according to the Italian Fashion Chamber's calendar.

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