Former Stuart Weitzman CEO launches luxury sneaker company
Wayne Kulkin, former CEO of Stuart Weitzman, has launched StreetTrend LLC, a new company which will distribute luxury Italian-made sneakers under three separate brand labels: P448, Meline and P.S.821.
To launch StreetTrend, Kulkin partnered with investor Hilco Global, whose other investments include Halston, Haute Hippie, and Ellen Tracy. Kulkin will serve as StreetTrend's CEO and has stated that he is excited to build the luxury brand from the ground up.
"I love the power of ideas and the creative process," he explained, a process which, in StreetTrend's case, will include handcrafting the shoes in Italy from luxury materials.
Kulkin said the company is hoping to tap into the expanding market for more upscale sneakers that can be worn in a wider range of situations, including at the office and out at bars. He added that the company's goal is to offer luxury sneakers addressing fit, comfort and style at "a democratic price point."
Kulkin is a self-proclaimed sneakerhead, claiming "Anyone who's ever met me will tell you that I am always in sneakers, whether it's with a suit, jeans, or sweatpants."
He is also a footwear industry veteran, credited with turning the Stuart Weitzman brand around and leading it to be purchased by Coach, Inc. (now Tapestry, Inc.). Before his two decades at Stuart Weitzman, he kicked off his career as a footwear buyer at Nordstrom.
P448 is already shipping its Spring 2018 adult and kids collections to luxury retailers in the US, having been picked up by Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Shopbop and The Shoebox NYC.
The debut collection will be available for Spring/Summer 2018 at select luxury retailers in North America and Europe.
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