P448 has a new investor.
On Tuesday, StreetTrend LLC, which owns the P448 sneaker brand, announced that actor, producer, and businessman Mark Wahlberg has made a significant minority investment in the company. Specific terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Walhberg, who recently showed off a pair of P448 sneakers on social media, said in a statement, “I am excited to be a part of such a unique brand that fits my personal style and cares about sustainability. StreetTrend CEO Wayne Kulkin is a passionate and knowledgeable sneakerhead, and I look forward to being part of this project.”
With this deal, Wahlberg adds StreetTrend and its P448 brand to his growing list of business ventures and brand investments. These include Municipal clothing line, Flecha Azul tequila, the F45 fitness chain, Wahlburgers restaurant chain, and his film production company, Unrealistic Ideas.
“We think Mark is the perfect strategic partner in our mission to establish Brand Immersion Labs, which celebrate the arts, music, street and surf culture – each one unique in its own right,” Kulkin told FN. “For example, our Fifth Avenue location features a TikTok to billboard filming area where Mark recently captured his own video to share with social, inspiring others to do the same. What better ambassador could there be?”
Wahlberg joins the two original investment partners who launched StreetTrend in 2017 – Kulkin, the former CEO of Stuart Weitzman, and Jeffrey B. Hecktman, CEO of the international financial services firm Hilco Global. In 2020, Karen Katz, who previously served as president and CEO of Neiman Marcus Group, was appointed as chairman of StreetTrend’s advisory board.
In 2018, StreetTrend acquired a 30% stake in P448. Prior to this deal, Kulkin had signed an exclusive distribution and marketing agreement with P448 in 2017. Then in Oct. 2020, StreetTrend outright bought the made-in-Italy footwear brand from NoThanks SpA for an undisclosed sum.
Last week, StreetTrend opened its newest P448 retail store located in Paris, France. This follows two other recent openings late last year in New York City and Miami. Going forward, P448 plans to continue strategically opening additional locations around the world. The P448 brand has also launched in China, with planned openings in Korea, South America, and Mexico in 2022.
According to StreetTrend, during the pandemic, the company grew by 150%. Management indicated that wholesale remains a major focus of the overall business strategy, with very strong growth at independent retailers around the world, and at major department stores such as Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, Holt Renfrew, La Rinascente, and Printemps.