Gilt Groupe Inc. raised $138 million in new funding, valuing the online retailer at $1 billion as it scouts for acquisitions and readies a full-price men’s apparel site.
“There’ll be a lot more consolidation in this space in the next 12 months,” Kevin Ryan, founder and chief executive officer of Gilt, told WWD. “The large companies like ourselves have a lot of revenues and a lot of traffic, and it’s going to be hard for the smaller companies to compete.”
Buying an online leader in bridal sales, for example, would give Gilt a running start in the category with vendor relationships, a customer base and knowledgeable executives, Ryan said.
After three-and-a-half years, Gilt is still in a phase of frenetic growth and still losing money, though the ceo said the company is in the red because it is ramping up new businesses, including the men’s site and a gourmet food site. Gilt is also looking abroad. Japanese cell phone company Softbank Group provided $62.5 million of the new funding and agreed to buy a 50 percent stake in Gilt’s Japanese subsidiary.
“We have 125 open positions right now and I have 14 full-time recruiters who only hire,” Ryan said. Thirty of Gilt’s 670 employees are working on new businesses.
Revenues this year are expected to range from $400 million to $500 million — 20 percent of which will come from men’s apparel. Ryan said an initial public offering was in the offing, but not over the next 12 months.
The name of Gilt’s full-price men’s site will be unveiled next month, and Ryan said he’s ready for the well-heeled competition.
“If you go to Saks and Nordstrom [online], my guess is what you’ll see when you arrive there are two women in dresses,” he said. “The question is: Is that a men’s site or is that really a women’s site?”
Those companies have superior brand recognition and marketing muscle, but Ryan is unfazed.
“Our online male sales are three to four times bigger than Saks and five times bigger than Bloomingdale’s,” he said. “The question is: Who should be worried?”
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)
The @cfda has shifted the dates of #NYFW, with Men’s showing on February 5 through February 7, and Women’s will directly follow, running from February 8 through 14. The preliminary schedule will be released on the CFDA’s web site in the next few days, but Mark Beckham, VP of marketing for the CFDA, revealed that @rafsimons will be back to close the men’s-specific part of the week with a show on February 7 #wwdfashion (📷: Kelly Taub)
@ferragamo is introducing a new space dedicated to the development of women’s and men’s leather good samples. The laboratory, which is created eco-friendly materials and designed to reduce the environmental impact of the manufacturing processes, will allow the company to expand its accessories offering through traditional artisanal approaches. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
How does a “regular, degular, schmegular” girl from the Bronx, N.Y., become a Grammy-nominated artist with a certified platinum record in less than a year? Call it the @iamcardib come up. The 25-year-old has become a musical sensation, and the fashion world is taking note. “If I could describe her style I would say drama. She’s really into the dramatics,” says Cardi B’s stylist @kollincarter. See how Carter styles her bold and out there looks with the link in bio. #wwdfashion
“There is no formula. There is no guideline. I can watch Ted Talks all day, but there is no one who can advise me on exactly what it is I should be doing,” said @ronniefieg, CEO of @kith, in an interview with WWD’s @ariahughes at the brand’s new SoHo office in Manhattan. Head to WWD.com to see how Fieg went from hanging out in shoe stockrooms at 13 to building his own business. #wwdfashion (📷: @weston.wells)
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion