U.S.-based footwear holding firm StreetTrend LLC and Italian investment company Panda Srl. announced today that they have acquired a majority interest in luxury shoe brand P448.
The private transaction was completed as a joint venture agreement to purchase all P448 creative design, manufacturing operations and brand assets of the Forli, Italy-based label.
P448 co-founders Marco Simone and Andrea Curtis will remain with the company and maintain an equity stake in the business, which they launched in 2014.
Prior to the transaction, StreetTrend chairman Wayne Kulkin — a shoe industry veteran who was CEO of Stuart Weitzman for more than 25 years — had signed an exclusive distribution and marketing agreement with P448 in 2017.
“When we launched StreetTrend last year, it was very clear that we had to include P448 in our portfolio of luxury sneakers,” Kulkin said. “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 U.K., Hong Kong and China [among other places].”
At completion of the transaction, P448’s management team will be led by Panda CEO Paolo Griffo, who will serve as CEO, and Kulkin, who will serve as non-executive chairman. Simone and Curtis will become co-creative and design directors.
Among the goals for the brand, Griffo plans to launch a limited number of experiential stores in the U.S. and Canada in 2019. He said the firm will also open a new P448 showroom in Milan in October, complementing its New York showroom.
According to the company, the P448 brand has seen year-over-year growth of 50 percent since launch.
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