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Philipp Plein

Designer, Philipp Plein

Along with his luxe leather and studded hightops, the German designer is known for his extravagant runway shows featuring rollercoasters, robots and cage fights alike.


Philipp Plein has rapidly made a name for himself in the fashion industry for his spectacles at Milan Fashion Week, alongside his building a sizeable fashion business. Sparing no expense to be memorable, the designer’s shows have featured full-scale rollercoasters, monster trucks, explosions, cage matches and Jet Ski jousting. His extravagant shows are the work of Etienne Russo , the man behind major shows for Chanel, Moncler and Hermès.

Far from minimal chic, Plein’s aesthetic is full on flashy. He told the New York Times, “We are not a Jil Sander . We are not a Céline, obviously. We are not attracting this type of client.” 

Philipp Plein began his career designing furniture for family and friends. When his designs drew attention from the interior design industry, he founded his eponymous company. Not wanting to waste any material, Plein began making bags and accessories out of leftover leather, which he sold alongside his furniture and trade fairs.

In 2003, when he was asked to design a lounge for a German trade fair for Moet & Chandon, he was also allowed to sell his accessories. He made over €100,000 in one day, and so his fashion brand was born a year later. Plein now has boutiques worldwide, with his largest market in China where he currently has seven stores.

Some of Plein’s most notable shows include his Spring/Summer 2014 women’s show featuring Iggy Azalea performing "Work," followed by a runway populated solely with black models; his Spring/Summer 2015 men’s show that took place in an abandoned historic public swimming pool and started with a water ballet; and the men’s Autumn/Winter 2015 show that featured Snoop Dogg performing after a live cage match. Most memorable, however, is certainly his women’s Autumn/Winter 2015 Plein organised a working rollercoaster, which, post-show, he opened up to guests.


Philipp Plein

Philipp Plein


1998 - Present

Milan, Italy


University of Erlangen-Nuremberg

University of Erlangen-Nuremberg

Vital Statistics



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What is The BoF 500?

The people shaping the global fashion industry, curated by the editors of The Business of Fashion, based on nominations and on-the-ground intelligence from around the world.