Online clothing retailer Revolve acquires a set of fashion brands
March 23, 2015 11:01 AM
Revolve Clothing, an e-commerce site that offers fashion items from emerging designers with a Los Angeles vibe, is acquiring some of the very labels it sells.
Alliance Apparel, which owns the labels Lovers + Friends, Tularosa, NBD and the soon-to-launch Raye, is coming under the Revolve banner. Combined, the fashion lines project gross sales of about $18 million in 2015, according to the company. Lovers + Friends, in particular, is hugely popular on Revolve's site and one of its best-sellers. All of the brands have wholesale businesses and are sold at many other retailers like Nordstrom and Shopbop. Revolve co-founder and co-Chief Executive Officer Michael Mente declined to disclose the purchase price.
By bringing on some fashion brands, Revolve will be able to quickly fill holes in its marketplace when necessary. Each label provides a particular look—if Revolve needs more boho chic dresses, it can turn to Tularosa; if it needs more sexy nighttime looks, NBD is on call. "It'll allow us to have a stronger pipeline of product," Mente says. "And it'll be impactful for their team to shift from a scrappy designer to more of a powerhouse."
This is Revolve's first acquisition since it was founded in 2003 by Mente and Mike Karanikolas. The closely held, bootstrapped company took its first outside investor almost a decade after its creation, when TSG Consumer Partners assumed a minority stake.
Revolve found success catering to fashion-savvy women interested in trying out new, up-and-coming designers. It also runs a sister brand called Forward by Elyse Walker, a higher-end site that sells luxe labels like Givenchy, Alexander McQueen and Kenzo. Revolve expects to hit $400 million in sales this year, though thus far, Revolve has remained purposefully quiet and press-shy. "The growth has been very organic and it's been very repeat customer-driven, loyalty-driven," Mente says. "I think we’ll be a little bit more out there from an advertising perspective, a press perspective, and an activity-based perspective and it’ll be fun to shift that."
Mente plans to allow the labels to operate largely autonomously, he says, with Revolve providing broad strategic instructions and guidance rather than day-to-day management.