The Modist and Vaultier7 have confirmed that the site, which specializes in high-end, modest fashion, will use the funds to grow further and to consolidate The Modist’s “leading position in core markets, including new and exciting brand partnerships.”
Founder Ghizlan Guenez launched The Modist in 2017 with the goal of tearing down stereotypes around the word “modesty.” The multibrand site has shoppers from 65 countries and carries more than 125 global brands as diverse as Adam Lippes and Madiyah Al Sharqi, Ann Demeulemeester and Dima Ayad. It’s offering a Ramadan edit, alongside evening, workwear and wedding ones.
Vaultier7 founders Anna Sweeting and Montse Suarez, who joined the board of The Modist last week, said they were excited to partner with Guenez and The Modist team for the next phase of their journey.
“The Modist has already made a mark in the industry with its positive and forward-thinking message. Their powerful consumer-centric proposition curating e-commerce product with authentic content has stood out for us from Day One. We believe the ‘Modist’ movement is only just beginning,” they said.
The Modist has been building up its original content offer, with a magazine called The Mod that puts a focus on entrepreneurial women and an in-house label called Layeur, that launched in April. The line of modest clothing was born partly from the data The Modist has been gathering from customers since it launched.
The site believes it “reflects the concerns of a growing group of women who, for reasons both cultural and personal, want a modest look that doesn’t forgo style. It also sees itself as a community platform that is “uniquely positioned in a growing luxury e-commerce market.” It prides itself on its broad appeal to women of all ages, religions and ethnicities.
“The Modist believes that modesty can be so many different things and that it can be cool and beautiful and elegant and everything a woman wants,” the company said.
According to Thomson Reuters, modest clothing has become a focal point within the fashion industry. The market is already worth hundreds of billions and is set to grow to $484 billion by 2019.
The Modist said it resonates soundly in the Middle East, where luxury growth is increasingly outpacing that of the rest of the world. The region is hot right now for e-commerce brands generally.
Earlier this year, Farfetch signed a joint venture agreement with Dubai-based Chalhoub Group to set up operations in the Middle East, and last month, it launched an Arabic language site that brings together 880 boutiques and brand partners from around the world.
The Middle East generates 7 percent of the overall business for Net-a-porter and Mr Porter and in May those sites set out their plans for the region. They are planning Arabic language and content sites and a state-of-the-art distribution center in Dubai that will offer the company’s same-day delivery service as well as the “You Try, We Wait” personal shopping service.
Dubai will be the fourth global distribution center for YNAP after London, New York and Hong Kong.
As well as building its stronghold in the Middle East, the Modist is also growing in the U.S. and the U.K., which together represent more than 45 percent of the site’s revenues.
As reported, the team is full of Net-a-porter veterans, including former global sales and marketing director Lisa Bridgett, who is The Modist’s chief operating officer.
Vaultier7 is a specialist firm that aims to invest in “challenger brands” in the beauty and lifestyle space. It also puts its money behind newcomer companies that have a distinctive attitude and a “digitally shrewd strategy underpinned with a compelling product offering,” the founders told WWD in an interview last year.
The investment is the second that Vaultier7 has made so far this year: In January, it put $7.5 million behind Axel Arigato, the cult sneaker brand that drops new styles every week.
Vaultier7 is looking at companies with revenues of between three million pounds and 15 million pounds, and aims to provide growth capital between two million pounds and 10 million pounds, with a focus on the U.K. and Europe.