NEW YORK — Moda Operandi, the online upstart by Lauren Santo Domingo and Aslaug Magnúsdottir, secured its second round of funding on Friday.
Venture capital and growth equity firm New Enterprise Associates Inc. is the lead investor in the series B financing of $10 million, which is expected to help the site build its infrastructure and grow its international reach. The first round of financing was led by Boston-based New Atlantic Ventures.
“We took our time to figure which fund would be the best fit, and ended up with NEA,” Magnúsdottir said. “They are a top-tier VC [firm] and ranked among the top five in the U.S.
“Because we are a business that is selling to customers internationally, we love the fact that they have a presence internationally,” she added. “NEA has offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Bangalore and Mumbai. Both China and India are among our target core markets for the future. We believe that NEA can be extremely supportive in terms of helping us build our international customer base.”
Tony Florence, a partner in NEA, will join the board of Moda Operandi. “The high end of fashion and luxury accessories is a massive market that is global,” Florence said. “To some extent, it has been lacking innovation in the last few years around the consumer experience and the brands. Moda comes at it in a very differentiated way.”
Moda Operandi went live in February in time for New York Fashion Week, and offered designer collections from New York, London, Milan and Paris shortly after the shows. It has 16 full-time employees, and Magnúsdottir said the company plans to add 10 more before the end of the year. “We will also be adding new features to the site,” Magnúsdottir said, citing iPhone and iPad applications and a virtual closet as upcoming launches.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast