Mayfair luxury fashion store Philipp Plein to become ‘first in London’ to accept cryptocurrency

 (Philipp Plein)
(Philipp Plein)

A huge new luxury fashion store in Mayfair opening on Thursday claims to be the first in London to accept payment in crytocurrency.

The Bond Street flagship of the German designer Philipp Plein, whose celebrity customers include Paris Hilton, Kylie Jenner, and Snoop Dogg, will allow customers to pay in 20 leading digital currencies including Bitcoin and Ethereum.

It will initially open as a “pop-up” on four storeys selling lines such as a gothic denim jacket for £6,125 and crystal hi-top trainers for £5,210 but will close at the end of the summer for a refurbishment and reopen permanently over five floors in the Autumn.

The 44-year-old designer told the Standard he expected around five per cent of sales to be paid in crypto initially, matching the level on the online store.

The crypto prices will be updated every 10 minutes to reflect changing exchange rates and can be checked through a QR code on products in the store.

The new Mayfair store - his first in London - will trial the idea ahead of it being rolled out to his 100 other outlets around the world, if successful.

Mr Plein said: “We chose London first partly because the British government made a big statement about being a world leader in crytocurrency and it announced plans to mint its own NFT (non-fungible-token) a few weeks ago.

“Also because London is a huge financial hub and one of the most important cities in the world. We got an opportunity to test it with an international audience in a prime location. If we want to play with the big boys we have to be here.”

The store at 9 Old Bond Street was previously the “collection townhouse” for rival luxury fashion label Michael Kors, but it closed during the pandemic.

Mr Plein conceded that crypto payment is slower than by cash, credit card or Apple Pay as it typically takes three to five minutes to connect to the customer’s crypto “wallet” and complete the transaction.

But he said the option would prove popular with younger buyers “who invest in crypto and see it as a kind of lifestyle movement. A lot of people really believe in it and have made a lot of money with cryto. A lot of money comes fast to these people and they spend it fast too”.

The store will have accessories and footwear on the ground floor, while the second and third floors will showcase the Philipp Plein Spring/Summer 2022 collection

The third floor is described as the Museum of NFT Art (MONA) where “meta-addicted experts and Web3.0 newcomers can admire the new Crypto King$ NFT art collection in the first physical art gallery of the Metaverse”.

Mr Plein said: “It’s inevitable that the fashion world moves into the Metaverse, and we’re truly thrilled to pioneer this exciting new era,” says Plein. “In our crypto-concept fashion store, the first-ever in the world, we give digital elements a physical presence..”