The San Francisco-based online personal styling service has raised $12 million in a round of funding led by Benchmark that includes Baseline Capital and Western Technology Investments. Stitch Fix is also adding to its board and executive ranks. Benchmark general partner Bill Gurley; John Fleming, former executive vice president of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., and former president of Gap North America Marka Hansen are joining the board; Lisa Bougie, former general manager of emerging markets at Nike Inc., is chief merchandising officer; Jennifer Olsen, previously of Crate & Barrel, joining as chief marketing officer, and Meredith Dunn, former senior director, customer and stylist delight at Stella & Dot, signing on as vice president of styling.
Stitch Fix has a network of stylists who select clothes with an average price of about $60 per piece from more than 200 brands — Splendid, Ella Moss, Kensie Jeans and Sanctuary are a few — for customers who fill out quick a questionnaire that covers their style, size, budget, shape and lifestyle. “We can all shop online, but having somebody else shop for you and really think through what you have asked for and why is an amazing concept,” said Hansen.
Stitch Fix has grown quickly and is using the latest funding, which is on top of an earlier $4.75 million round, to fortify its infrastructure and workforce to handle the growth. Katrina Lake, founder and chief executive officer, estimated Stitch Fix now reaches hundreds of thousands of customers across the U.S., predominantly women in their early 30s. More than 70 percent of its customers return for a second “Fix,” the name Stitch Fix has given to a box of five items customers receive, and the repeat-business percentage is even higher for those who go on from a second Fix to a third Fix.
“Building and scaling the team is definitely a big priority for us,” said Lake. “For the first two years, we had a wait list and, even today, we are a little more oversubscribed than we anticipated. If you go to schedule a Fix today, we have a three-week wait, which is a little longer than we would like, but our philosophy is we would rather you wait three weeks and get a great Fix rather than pull together something that isn’t as great.”
At its headquarters, Stitch Fix has about 60 employees, but the number of people on the payroll increases to 200 when warehouse facilities and off-site stylists are counted. In total, Stitch Fix has some 60 stylists, only 10 of whom operate out of its offices. The rest work on flexible schedules from home.
As the new vice president of styling, Lake said Dunn’s “priority right away is building a training program for on-boarding remote stylists. Currently, we only have stylists in California, but, ultimately, we would love to have them nationwide. We have a two-hour training that we have remote stylists go through at our headquarters. As we scale outside of the Bay Area, we will need to train remotely.”
Bougie’s focus will be on the product. “Lisa can help us be more proactive to get the right product for our customers and get the product that they didn’t even know they are looking for,” said Lake. “Her scope is around helping us improve and broaden our product and continue to build relationships with our vendors.”
Stitch Fix can develop a wide array of proprietary merchandise to realize higher margins and specifically tailor clothing to its customers, and there’s a possibility it will leverage its data tools to improve the customer experience at brick-and-mortar retailers, although Lake maintained that’s not a main concern at the moment.
Lake wouldn’t discuss whether Stitch Fix is profitable except to note, “Our business model is such that we can see profitability.” She elaborated, “Our margins are comparable to what any of the other retailers would have, but the difference is in how fast we can turn the inventory. We are able to get through 85 percent of our merchandise in season at regular price, so that’s where the margins become a lot better.”
Taking the final spot on the mens’ portion of New York Fashion Week calendar next month will be none other than @tomford. Though he’s shown his men’s wear in New York in the past, this will mark the first time the designer has shown his men’s collection alone during New York Fashion Week: Men’s. His runway show will debut on February 6 at the Park Avenue Armory. #wwdfashion
London-based couture house @ralphandrusso has certainly been in the spotlight, having its dresses worn by @beyonce, Angelina Jolie, Meghan Markle in her engagement photos and more. For couture, Tamara Ralph focused on ornamentation — think: feathers with chain mail, jet embroidery and clusters of pearls and crystals. See the rest of the collection on WWD.com #wwdfashion #couture (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
Minnie Mouse celebrated her 90th birthday by getting her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. For her celebratory luncheon, @coach’s creative director @stuartvevers dressed her in a custom made prairie dress, complete with Vever’s take on the polka dot – black sequined versions – under a cropped motorcycle jacket. The designer also put his own mark on Minnie’s classic red shoes, infusing the color with sparkles and adding some Coach crystals. “We chose colors that were very Minnie and also represented quintessential Coach elements,” said Vevers. #wwdfashion #nationalpolkadotday (📷: George Chinsee)
@nickjonas is unveiling his first-ever apparel collection through a partnership with John Varvatos. The limited-edition capsule, which makes its debut in spring, also marks the first time the designer has collaborated with anyone on a line. “The process in working with Nick is amazing. It’s inspiring to be around someone who is not only connected with the trade that they do, but also with what’s happening in the environment around him, and how that connects to what we do with style,” said Varvatos. (RG: @johnvarvatos) #wwdfashion
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)