When a hot European brand debuts during New York Fashion Week (NYFW), it is important to make a big splash. And a big splash is what Philipp Plein made with its debut collection during NYFW. Maybe some established American brands could learn from the kind of take-NYC-by-storm show of Philipp Plein. Perhaps, more shows like Philipp Plein would add a much-needed innovation and energy to some of the lackluster runway shows that are currently a part of the NYFW terrain. Of course, it would be hard to trump Plein—Plein’s fall 2017 show included performances by NAS, The Kills, and 2 Live Crew. Still, Plein is pointing runway shows in the right direction, particularly when many fashion industry professionals no longer attend NYFW due to boredom and disgust.
That said; back to Plein’s fall 2017 collection!! Plein’s fall 2017 collection was about breaking down barriers. And that includes breaking down barriers of class, race, sex, sexual identity, and cultural affiliations. In this new world order, everything counts and is also mixed together in a beautiful mosaic.
With the words ‘Neighborhood Kings’ emblazoned throughout the collection, Plein was demonstrating that culturally everyone is a king in their own right. In Philipp Plein’s universe everyone reigns supreme whether you identify with street culture of couture; whether you self identify as male or female or neither or both; whether you have deep pockets or not, and in Plein’s case whether you have a standard model physique or not.
This expansive self-definition is expressed in clothes that are easily gender fluid and combine high end with separates that can be mixed and matched. Consider sneaks with a couture dress or gown, or thigh-high expensive stiletto boots with a hood. In Plein’s world nothing divides, everything potentially unites.
Plein presented a uniquely NYC story with this fall 2017 collection. And this New York story idea is made evident in Statue of Liberty patches, dollar bill print on jackets and shirts, and Fashion Beyond Imagination patches (FBI).
Interestingly, what Plein has presented in his New York debut is not new. Hip-hop and urban brands did this two decades ago; perhaps, with less expensive fabrications and innovation, but rigorously effective design. Still, looking back to vintage design aesthetics seems to be the order of the day for many brands this season, so Plein in not out of step!!
And there is a stateside, large youthful demographic who have a deep love for hip-hop and urban street style. This demographic is primed and ready to embrace Plein. Smart move Philipp Plein. Power to young people!!
—William S. Gooch