Philipp Plein was studying law when he began designing furniture. Soon his designs drew attention from experts within the interior design industry and in 1998, the company was founded in Munich, Germany.
Plein started making bags and accessories from the leftover exotic leathers, which were sold alongside his design pieces at trade fairs. In 2003 the entrepreneur was asked to design a lounge at the German trade fair CPD Düsseldorf, for Moet & Chandon, where he was also allowed to sell his accessories. The fashion brand was born a year later in 2004. The brand currently counts more than 66 stores around the world.
The highlight of his first collections were vintage military jackets which he embroidered with Swarovski skulls and sold at the Maison et Objet in Paris, allowing him to also attract attention from members of the fashion world.
In 2006 the accessories line was introduced and in 2008 the "Couture" collection was launched, supported by an ad campaign starring Naomi Campbell and Marcus Schenkenberg.
In 2008 Philipp Plein presented his "heavy metal" collection on the occasion of "Germany's Next Top Model" fashion show In 2009 he collaborated with Mattel and presented the Philip Plein Barbie doll during Barbie's 50th Birthday celebrations at the Nuremberg Toy Fair.
In the same year, the first store was opened in Monte Carlo, and the first commercial showroom in Milan. The relatively unknown brand at the time began to follow an aggressive worldwide retail expansion strategy that would result in the opening of over 30 stores in under 4 years.
In 2010 Plein boutiques opened in Vienna, Moscow, St. Tropez, Cannes, and Kitzbuhel in addition to the opening of a showroom in Düsseldorf. The spring/summer 2011 women’s wear fashion show debuted at Milan fashion week in September and took place in a deconsecrated 16th century church filled with white roses, with after party DJ set by Pierre Sarkozy, who was also face of the men’s spring/summer 2011 ad campaign.
Mischa Barton was chosen for the fall/winter 2010 season, while Lindsay Lohan posed for the Spring/Summer 2012 campaign.
In 2011 PHILIPP PLEIN boutiques opened in Forte dei Marmi and Düsseldorf, and the Hong Kong showroom was inaugurated. The FW 2011 women’s fashion show taking place in February featured a pre-show orchestra performance, this time featuring DJ set by Peaches Geldof.
In 2012, ten boutiques were opened, in Marbella, Moscow Crocus, Baku, Milan, Dubai, St. Petersburg, Seoul, Macau, Amsterdam and Berlin.
In 2012 Plein signed an agreement with the soccer team AS Roma to dress the team players starting with the 2012/13 season for 4 consecutive seasons.
During Milan’s Spring/Summer 2014 menswear show in June a Las Vegas style casino was created. Rap star Iggy Azalea opened the women’s Spring/Summer 2014 show performing her hit Work, followed by only black models on the runway headed by Liya Kebede.. This was considered a controversial statement in an industry where black models are often less successful than their white counterparts.
2014 store openings include Hong Kong, Los Angeles and New York, Ibiza, Bodrum, Doha, the first Plein duty free at Vienna airport. The men’s Fall/Winter 2014 was created by fashion show producer Etienne Russo. The women’s FW 2014 show featured Rita Ora, Naomi Campbell, Irina Shayk and Anne V.
The men’s spring summer 2015 fashion show and after party took place in an abandoned historic public swimming pool refurbished for the show. In January 2015 Snoop Dogg performed at the men's FW 15 fashion show, followed by the women's show in February. January 2015 also saw the debut of Philipp Plein as a talent scout jury member in the Italian TV program "ForteForteForte".
Tyga performed at the SS16 Menswear fashion show and party.
In January 2016 the brand announced the appointment of Graziano de Boni as CEO of the Americas.