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StreetTrend and Panda take over P448
Jul '18
Courtesy: PR Newswire
Courtesy: PR Newswire
US-based footwear holding company StreetTrend, and Italian based Investment firm Panda, have taken over a majority interest in the luxury Italian sneaker and footwear brand P448. The original founders of the P448 business, Marco Simone and Andrea Curtis, will remain with the company and maintain an equity stake in the business which they launched in 2014.

Leadership at the two firms, Wayne Kulkin – chairman at StreetTrend, and Paolo Griffo, CEO at Panda indicated that the private transaction was completed as a joint venture agreement to purchase all P448 creative design, manufacturing operations and brand assets at the Forli, Italy based company. Simone and Curtis launched P448 business with a mission to design, manufacture and market a line of luxury fashion sneakers and footwear around the world.

Since the 2014 introduction, the founders successfully expanded the P448 business, delivering year over year sales growth of more than 50 per cent per year.

Simone said, "The sales growth reflects a high consumer demand for our unique Italian-made luxury styles and craftsmanship at affordable prices." The P448 brand currently has a global distribution footprint which StreetTrend has helped to expand.

In 2017, as Kulkin was launching StreetTrend, he signed an exclusive distribution and marketing agreement with P448 covering several of its largest markets. Kulkin said, "When we launched StreetTrend last year it was very clear that we had to include P448 in our portfolio of luxury sneakers. The feedback about the product design and quality coming out of Europe was amazing and I was thrilled to sign an exclusive distribution agreement to market the brand in North America, the UK, Hong Kong, and China to name a few."

Kulkin indicated that P448 distribution and sales in the US through his company StreetTrend have exceeded all expectations in the first year. Kulkin said, "The P448 brand has already gained a strong following in the US, and we've quickly developed a reputation among both retailers and shoppers for delivering exciting styles, with 'handmade' quality and craftmanship and fashionable looks that reflect Italian streetwear trends that leverage unique colours and textures."

Kulkin, a veteran in the global footwear industry (previously having served as CEO at Stuart Weitzman for more than 25 years), launched StreetTrend as a brand portfolio holding company in 2017 in partnership with Jeffrey Hecktman, chairman and CEO of the global investment and financial services company Hilco Global, a firm with holdings in several retail and fashion brands. StreetTrend is currently designing, distributing and selling several footwear brands including P448 luxury sneakers, PS821 Limited Edition Sneakers; and Meline at Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales, Nordstrom and other retailers and online.

With the StreetTrend – Panda joint venture transaction completed, the new P448 management team will be led by Paolo Griffo, who will serve as P448 CEO; Kulkin will serve as P448 non-executive chairman; and P448 original founders, Simone and Curtis, will serve as co-creative and design directors. (SV)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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