Vita LA

LOS ANGELES Touché LA aspires to be the next major multibrand portfolio and it’s taking steps now to grow its brand roster and expand into new categories following its first capital raise last spring.

The Vernon, Calif.-based company owns its own factory and got its start in private label manufacturing. The firm launched in 2016, initially partnering with reality star Morgan Stewart from “Rich Kids of Beverly Hills,” on the activewear line TLA by Morgan Stewart. That was followed by another activewear line with Instagram influencer Alexis Ren on Ren Active. In both cases, Touché LA has equity stakes in the business. This month, Touché LA launched the activewear brand Vita LA, developed in-house with a strategy of linking with a rotating band of influencers — ranging from the worlds of entertainment to fitness and fashion — for each new release.

Vita LA allows the company, which said it is profitable with a seven-figure run rate, to tap audiences not already resonating with the TLA or Ren brands. In other words, it allows the company to continue growing.

“We’re able to collaborate into unique customer bases and then learn through our data sciences how we can cross-pollinate [portfolio brands],” said Karl Singer, who founded the business with his wife, Jaynee. “We would never want to create a brand with somebody that’s identical to TLA or Ren because then you’re cannibalizing yourself.”

The couple was self funded up until April when the company raised an undisclosed seed round with Guild Capital LLC, which has also invested in HauteLook and TechStyle Fashion Group, parent to brands such as JustFab and ShoeDazzle.

The idea is to build a platform of brands Touché LA either creates in house or in partnership with an influencer, whereby the company takes an ownership stake, to provide backend functions such as operations, financing and data.

On the latter, each business deal is structured differently and Touché LA typically begins working with an influencer first on a collaboration to test market appetite and the potential of the brand, Singer said.

“We’re constantly focusing on bringing new talent, seeking out who we feel is going to be the next thing,” he said. “We don’t target the Kardashians of the world. We’re looking for the talent that’s on the rise.”

The company’s brands operate in the activewear segment, but Touché LA intends to expand into streetwear in spring 2019 and swimwear in summer 2019. Those lines would likely be done in partnership with an influencer or celebrity and would then be followed by the launch of ready-to-wear.

“We’re really looking to build it into another Revolve, but giving it our own twist with the fact that we’re operating the manufacturing,” Singer said. “These brands, we own or are in partnership with. We’re not just another retailer.”