How Philipp Plein Became the King of Low-Brow High Fashion

Philipp Plein, the forty-five-year-old German fashion designer, is thin and muscular, with stiffly gelled hair, a stubbled jawline, and arms covered in tattoos (the word “Billionaire” in fat lettering; a cross with “Veni Vidi Vici”; a sad-faced Jesus). Since founding his eponymous clothing brand, in the late nineteen-nineties, Plein has become an effective hawker of loudly luxurious wares, beloved by customers with a taste for the extravagant, if often sneered at by the fashion establishment. His runway shows are elaborate affairs, featuring pyrotechnics and, occasionally, Jet Skis. “I’m trying to fuck your mind tonight,” he told an audience in Milan, in 2015. For that show, which was opened by the rapper Azealia Banks, Plein had a roller coaster (which some of the models rode) installed on the catwalk, leading to media speculation that the event may have been “the most expensive fashion show ever.” Read more in The New Yorker