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?”
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)