Brandless has secured a $35 million Series B funding round that includes 20-plus high-profile individuals from the retail, entertainment, media and sports industries.Brandless offers generic household and food staples for just $3, with the idea that products such as moisturizing shampoo, foaming hand wash and even tomato sauce should be made well and comprised of clean and nontoxic ingredients. It claims that the idea of being “brandless” allows the company to offer these products at a fair price, without consumers having to pay what it calls a “brand tax” that is often added to the markup for advertising and marketing of the “brand.” Consumers in turn save up to a 40 percent mark-up — although that’s often higher with beauty products — when compared with prices for national brands, Brandless contends.The company was cofounded by Tina Sharkey and Ido Leffler and launched its online operations in July.New Enterprise Associates, a Series A round participant, led the latest funding round, which also includes Google Ventures.Sharkey, chief executive officer of Brandless, said, “We are humbled to have a very special group of people who have come together as investors, as supporters, and simply as awesome humans committed to fueling our mission and joining our movement.”Individual investors in the fashion, beauty and media sectors who participated in the Series B round include Mindy Grossman, ceo of Weight Watchers and former ceo of HSNi; Randi Zuckerberg, founder and ceo of Zuckerberg Media; David Bach, financial expert and best-selling author; Jessica Seinfeld, author, philanthropist and founder of Good+ Foundation; Leslie Blodgett, founder of BareMinerals and former ceo of Bare Escentuals; Lily Kanter, cofounder and former ceo of Serena & Lily, and Scooter Braun, founder of SB Projects and global talent manager. Other investors, in addition to those from the tech and financial worlds, include a number of celebrity athletes. The athletes include, among others, basketball celebs Stephen Curry and Nick “Swaggy P” Young of the Golden State Warriors and CJ McCollum and Pat Connaughton of the Portland Trail Blazers, and Harris Barton, fund manager and former football player with the San Francisco 49ers.Grossman said, “Backing serial entrepreneurs like Tina and Ido goes beyond just backing a winning team, it’s backing a belief system. It’s supporting profit and purpose coming together to do something much bigger than any product or company – to give everyone access to better.”[caption id="attachment_11074162" align="aligncenter" width="400"] Mindy Grossman[/caption]Blodgett said, "I believe great products should be accessible and affordable. I've joined the Brandless family to support their work making that belief a reality for everyone."Zuckerberg said, “By making better products affordable and accessible to everyone through its online store, Brandless and the virtual community it’s building have the power to create meaningful change for families and communities across the country.”Brandless so far has raised an aggregate of $50 million through earlier seed and Series A rounds. Investors in the prior rounds include New Enterprise, Redpoint Ventures, Slow Ventures and Cowboy Ventures. The company has since expanded to more than 250 products.
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews
@prada is introducing a new project at its men’s fall 2018 show this Sunday: “Prada Invites.” The fashion house invited four celebrated creative minds – @ronanaerwanbouroullec, Konstantin Grcic, @herzogdemeuron and @rem.koolhaas – to each create a unique item with its iconic nylon material. The designs will be unveiled on the runway show, which will take place at the company’s warehouse in Viale Ortles 25. #wwdfashion #mfwm (📷: @martinocarrera)
@kering_official is spinning off its stake in puma in an effort to focus on its luxury brands, the brand operator announced yesterday. “We are proud to have supported the turnaround of Puma, which now has unrivaled capabilities to take full advantage of the specific dynamics of its global markets and is poised to achieve substantial growth,” said François-Henri Pinault, Kering’s chief executive officer and chairman. Artémis will become a “long-term strategic shareholder” of Puma with a 29 percent stake. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
The fashion world mourns for celebrated street style photographer, Nabile Quenum, who died at age 32 in Paris.
Quenum, creator of the fashion blog “J’ai Perdu Ma Veste,” was a fashion week fixture, and regularly shot for New York magazine’s The Cut, among other outlets, and brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moncler and Adidas. He was also actively involved in the #NoFreePhotos initiative, which kicked off in the fall. Read more about Quenum in @kbsmoke's story on WWD.com. #wwdnews
@verwanggang and @maisonladuree have teamed up on a dessert collab called Vera Wang Pour Ladurée. The collection, which launched this week, features a specialty macaroon, as well as a wedding cake inspired by one of the designer’s gowns. “I could not imagine a more delicate or sophisticated creation to grace any couple’s celebration,” said Wang. #wwdfashion