Fashion brand start-up Bow & Drape has raised a $1.2 million seed round led by VegasTechFund, the seed stage investment firm founded by Zappos founder Tony Hsieh.
This story first appeared in the January 30, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Other seed investors in the round are Great Oaks Venture Capital, TriplePoint Capital and Jeff Fluhr, the cofounder of StubHub.com through pooled angel funding firm Angel Hub, according to Bow & Drape.
The fashion start-up allows women to personalize the apparel and accessories options on its site, and in September appeared to be the first to provide three-dimensionally printed hardware to go with interchangeable belt straps, as well as metal pulls for clutches. Prior to the 3-D option, the site was known for allowing consumers to choose a top, bottom or dress style, and personalize the product through color, fit and embellishments.
RELATED STORY: Bow & Drape to Offer 3-D Printed Hardware >>
Andy White, who oversees VegasTech, said, “Bow & Drape was attractive to us because the consumer has a say in the product. The company is innovative regarding their inventory controls and how they deliver the experience [to consumers.] The complete process was so intriguing to us.”
White added that customization is where his firm believes the e-commerce experience is headed. Not only is technology driving the change, but also because competition makes it more difficult to be just a reseller of merchandise online, he explained.
Bow & Drape founder and chief executive officer Aubrie Pagano said the 3-D offering has been expanded to include a printed clutch for spring.
“We’ve grown to date pretty much organically. We went to do the seed round to ensure that we can gain visibility and awareness of our brand,” Pagano said.
She noted that Hsieh’s firm has provided a “wealth of resources,” one of which is a partnering with a manufacturing firm in Las Vegas. Product is also manufactured in New York City.
Part of her strategy for expansion includes tailoring the 3-D option to custom appliqués, providing for more embroideries and screen-printing, and ultimately expanding the foothold in wearable technology.
Pagano is already thinking about the future, projecting that the seed investment will allow for growth over the next 18 months, after which she expects to be closing on a Series A round.
Pagano’s firm just relocated its offices to New York City from Boston. She said her firm’s business “experienced nearly 300 percent revenue growth” since its launch in late 2012.