P448 Retail expansion includes launch of stores in Miami, Paris – Footwear News


Italian sneaker brand P448 bets on brick and mortar.

After launching its first US site on Fifth Avenue in New York in August, the brand is growing.

Next, the high-end label is opening in Paris after its latest store launch in Miami over the holidays.

“Our strategy is to choose locations and cities that are exposed to international and domestic tourists. We want to reach as many customers as possible, taking into account the COVID-19 restrictions. And if our customers and the new consumers we want to reach are comfortable traveling during this time, it will definitely be New York, Miami and Paris,” CEO Wayne Kulkin told FN.

Inside P448’s Miami store.

CREDIT: Courtesy of P448

Meanwhile, P448 has moved to the streets in New York. Despite the fact that international travel restrictions were in place for most of the pop-up’s run, the outpost was a success. So much so that Kulkin signed a new lease on Fifth Avenue, five doors north.

“The store created a different perception of our brand and showcased the brand DNA that makes P448 so special. Customers loved the interactive checkout where they could tag part of the store after buying their own pair of sneakers P448. By the end of our time in this space, the checkout was completely full. This is just one example of how the store supports the brand’s concept of creating a new form of retail that dives into on-site interactive experiences,” he added.

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Inside P448’s pop-up store in New York City.

CREDIT: Courtesy of P448

With each location, Kulkin is able to learn more about her growing audience, noting that male customers were visiting the New York store and expressing interest in traditional, female-focused styles. “This has resulted in the evolution of a new evergreen genderless shopping program that we plan to launch in the coming months. This collection will be as inclusive as possible, with sizes ranging from 35 to 50 EU,” said Kulkin said.

P448 also extends beyond shoes. The brand officially launched clothing for fall with a line of loungewear in September. Called P448 Threads, the collection includes unisex crewneck sweaters ($120) and hoodies ($130), plus matching pants ($120) in neutral colorways, like milkstone gray and black. .

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The P448 clothing line is made in Italy.

CREDIT: Courtesy of P448

Going forward, P448 plans to strategically execute 12-24 month deals before moving to the next city.

Last year, the company doubled its business during the pandemic, recording 50% growth in North America and 20% growth in Europe. The P448 has also launched in China, with planned openings in Korea, South America and Mexico in 2022.

Wholesale remains a major focus of the brand’s overall business strategy, with very strong growth at independent retailers around the world, Kulkin noted, and at major department stores such as Nordstrom.

Tacey Powers, executive vice president and general merchandise manager for footwear at Nordstrom, said the brand resonated with a young, trend-conscious consumer. She said, “P448 pushes the boundaries of fashion by creating timeless and innovative pieces that bring street trends to life. Their use of materials, colors and quality helps them stand out from other brands in the luxury sneaker market. Along with their product, they are huge advocates for sustainability.

P448 specializes in sneakers for men and women, with a price tag of $275-$325 and a sustainability mindset. Currently, P448 offers Re:new leather sneakers, which reduce environmental impact by 80%; as well as a vegan line; and its Recycled Suede Collection. Regenerated suede is made using the chrome-free tanning method which reduces the amount of harmful chemicals used during the production process. This eco-sustainable process reduces water consumption by 67%, uses 29% fewer chemicals and halves CO2 emissions compared to standard tanning processes.

Kulkin has divided the business into three categories: 35% wholesale, 40% digital, and 25% bricks and mortar P448, globally.

In 2020, Kulkin took full ownership of P448 through his company StreetTrend LLC in a joint venture partnership with branded financial services and investment firm Hilco Global, after acquiring a stake of 30% in-brand from NoThanks SpA in 2018. Prior to that, Kulkin served as the exclusive distributor and marketing partner for P448 for the United States, as well as Canada, Mexico, China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.


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