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Hilco Global JV StreetTrend Acquires European Sneaker Brand P448

October 02, 2020, 08:00 AM
Filed Under: Mergers & Acquisitions
Related: Hilco Global

StreetTrend LLC announced that it has acquired the European based sneaker brand P448 from NoThanks SpA, headquartered in Forli, Italy.  The new consolidated entity will be called P448 SpA and will become part of the StreetTrend portfolio of footwear and fashion brands.

StreetTrend LLC, a fashion footwear and street wear brand company was launched in 2017 by Wayne Kulkin, former CEO of Stuart Wetizman for more than 25 years, in a joint venture partnership with the financial services and brand investment firm Hilco Global and its CEO Jeffrey B. Hecktman. Karen Katz has also been tapped as Chairman of StreetTrend’s Advisory Board. Katz previously served as President & CEO of Neiman Marcus Group LTD LLC and has since been seated on several boards, including Under Armour and Casper.

As a self-described “sneakerhead” and as the CEO of StreetTrend, Mr. Kulkin first discovered the P448 brand in 2017 while traveling to Italy to source brands for his new street wear company.  After several visits, Kulkin signed an agreement with P448 to serve as the exclusive distributor and marketing partner for United States, Canada, Mexico, China, Hong Kong, Macau & Taiwan under StreetTrend LLC.

After great success as a distributor, StreetTrend LLC then acquired 30% ownership of NoThanks SpA in 2018, and Kulkin became the Chairman of the Board and a key driver behind the brands growth and success.  StreetTrend LLC reports that the P448 brand alone has achieved CAGR of approximately 40% each year and has dramatically expanded its distribution channels to retailers such as Nordstrom, Evereve, Bloomingdales, ShopBop, Revolve, Printemps, Luisaviaroma, Illum, Level Shoes and La Rinascente.

CEO, Wayne Kulkin said, “Everyone is saying wholesale is dead - wholesale is not dead but it’s evolving.  The wholesale to DTC penetration will now move more towards a 70% / 30% split DTC to wholesale. This is the new reality.” StreetTrend had already recognized this evolution that was only accelerated by the Covid pandemic and the P448 brand saw an increase of 800% on its digital channels in the first half of the year alone.”

StreetTrend also took the opportunity to open new markets, most recently Taiwan, as well as new digital partners such as Revolve.

StreetTrend LLC investor and business partner Jeffery B. Hecktman, CEO of Hilco Global said, “Wayne has a grand vision for StreetTrend, and he has been successfully executing against it since we first met several years ago.”  Hecktman continued, “Wayne describes StreetTrend as a modern day incubation company - built from new global businesses and brands in the men’s and women’s fashion and streetwear sectors, with a focus on footwear ranging from sneaker to lifestyle categories for the consumer who wants fashion, technology and fit.”

Kulkin added, “In the midst of the worst health and economic crisis of modern history, we launched a new design and creative services group with a network of experts and facilities to leverage shared knowledge, industry experience and best-in-class resources - called TheProjectSociety LLC.”

To support the Project Society launch StreetTrend LLC opened a 20,000 sq ft design studio in Elda, Spain with dedicated technicians and support staff – led by Creative Director Daniele Michetti.  This new design studio enabled the company to launch footwear collections for four lifestyle brands, creating complete lines from sketch to market. Kulkin added, “all production and sourcing were executed in Italy and Spain - a critical factor in order to ensure premier design, quality and craftsmanship.”

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