Travel brand and direct-to-consumer luggage company Away closed on a $20 million Series B funding round.Leading the round was Global Founders Capital, who also led Away’s Series A round in September 2016. Other investors in the Series B are existing investors from the Series A round, Forerunner Ventures and Accel Partners, which co-led the Series A round.Away has raised a total of $31 million, including the $2.5 million seed round in August 2015.Away was cofounded by Steph Korey, chief executive officer, and Jen Rubio, creative director. Both are alumni of Warby Parker.Ludwig Ensthaler, a director at Global Founders and an Away board member, said, “Steph and Jen’s approach to building Away is changing the way people travel. Their use of data and technology — not just the consumer-facing product, but across the entire back-end of the company — [and] their inherent understanding of brand, [as well as] their commitment to talent and culture have made Away a standout from the beginning, and the growth numbers back it up.”Away introduced its first product, a carry-on, in February 2016. The company subsequently added two checked bags, suitcases in medium and large sizes, in June, followed by a bigger version of the carry-on in October. The carry-ons have a battery pack built-in for charging electronic devices, and are available at $225 and $245, while the checked bags are $275 and $295.According to Korey, consumers who fly mostly domestic carriers typically prefer the larger carry-on, whereas the small one is for regional airlines with smaller overhead capacity, as well as most international flights.Since the introduction of its first carry-on, Away has had more than $20 million in sales, selling almost 100,000 suitcases. The company, which is based in New York and has 66 employees, is expected to be profitable by year-end.Brian O’Malley, a partner at Accel Partners, said, “What has been so impressive with Away is the efficiency with which they’re growing. Profitability in year two is almost unheard of and something that takes real operating excellence to achieve.”Korey said the latest funding round will allow the company to expand into new product categories, add physical stores and new marketing ventures such as media plays online and in print, and a podcast.According to Korey, the typical consumer is between ages 20 and 40, and lives “overwhelmingly in the 10 to 12 biggest metro areas in the U.S.”While the ceo didn’t disclose timing of the new product categories, she said they would be items place inside the suitcase or other things one needs while at the airport. The company isn’t planning on adding any new suitcases to the line.What will be new are more brick-and-mortar stores. It already has one on Crosby Street in SoHo following a pop-up to test the market and plans to add one store each in Los Angeles and in San Francisco this summer. After those stores open, Away plans on opening locations in overseas markets, mostly likely in London and Berlin, where it has tested pop-ups before.
Exclusive: @dsquared2 signs fragrance licensing agreement with Euroitalia, with the first effort of the new partnership being unveiled in September. The brand will launch two scents – one for men and one for women – in Italy. Read our interview with designer Dean and Dan Caten on WWD.com. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: @zefashioninsider)
@louisvuitton has officially renewed Nicolas Ghesquière’s contract as artistic director of women's collections. "I am very pleased to open the next chapter of the story I started with Louis Vuitton almost 5 years ago," said Ghesquière, who first signed on to design the French luxury brand's women's line in 2013. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
“I learned then and there that I had to figure out a way in life to maintain and preserve my sense of pride when I felt good about what I did or what I represented or created,” said @saintrecords on how being bullied for wearing capri pants inspired her to be the artist she is today. Knowles was at the 70th Parsons Benefit last night where she outbid the room for a Dapper Dan customized @gucci experience. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
“There’s this amazing braintrust of people who know the whole universe so well. So we talked to them and they gave us more input,” said actor Alden Ehrenreich on playing the young Han Solo in “Solo: A Star Wars Story.” The cast was at NYC’s SVA Theatre last night for an advanced screening of the film, which hits theaters this week. #wwdeye #starwars #hansolo (📷: @aurorarosedecrosta)
@asaprocky spent nearly two hours in a Plexiglas box Sunday night at @sothebys putting himself through a series of “tests” to demonstrate the process of completing his new album called “Testing.” Get all the details and see all the pictures on WWD.com. #wwdeye
“I’ve struggled my whole life to find a bathing suit that fits me that doesn’t look like a maternity bra. I’m proud of the line because it’s an accurate representation of me rather than me putting on someone else’s clothes,” says @atlantabean of her swimwear collaboration with @piaarrobio, LPA X ATL. The two decided on a swimwear collab and increased the industry standard size for the pieces. Read more about the line — and our interview with de Cadenet Taylor and Arrobio — on WWD.com #wwdfashion
Exclusive: Cate Blanchett has been named the first global beauty ambassador for @armanibeauty. Blanchett has been the face of the brand’s Sì fragrance franchise since 2013, and is now representing all of the label’s beauty categories including makeup and skin care. #wwdbeauty (📷: @zefashioninsider)