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.
In honor the @CFDA’s announcement of @iamnaomicampbell receiving the Fashion Icon Award at the 2018 #CFDAAwards, which will take place on June 4, here’s a #tbt of the supermodel on @michaelkors’ runway in 1991. #wwdfashion #wwdarchive (📷: George Chinsee)
“I was making the guacamole when my scout saw me,” says model @stuckinteenage on being discovered just six months ago while working at @chipotlemexicangrill. Since then Williams has signed with @dnamodels, walked in her first show at @calvinklein and landed on the cover of @vogueitalia – a high point of any model’s career. To read @lisajlockwood’s full interview with the model on her experiences thus far, head to WWD.com – link in bio. (📷: George Chinsee)
“I love the idea of dialogue, period. It’s where I’ve always gotten my inspiration from: hearing other women speak, their journeys and their paths,” said @hereisgina, who delivered the keynote speech during @sxsw for @createcultivate in partnership with @fossil. For her two panels, Rodriguez chose female empowering, female-led and female entrepreneurs to focus on. Head to WWD.com to read more about her thoughts on Time’s Up, growing up in a family of women and why we “need a girls’ club.” #wwdeye #sxsw (📷: @jgreenery)
Leading luxury brand are shaking things up to keep up with streetwear. Case in point: the arrival of @mrkimjones as artistic director of @diorhomme. Jones, who succeeds @Kris_Van_Assche, is seen as one of the handful of designers who can actually straddle the luxury and streetwear worlds — which could lead to even more changes at established brands. What could this mean for the rest of the menswear landscape? Head to WWD.com to find out what experts predict #wwdfashion (📷: @franckmura)
“It’s like buying groceries. You’re going to buy the best mango, the best mozzarella, the best things. You have to, or others are going to take it all,” said @gabrielahearst on why she uses only the finest fabrics. Last week, Hearst received her first @cfda nomination for Womenswear Designer of the Year, and earlier this month she opened a permanent showroom in Paris. To read @jessiredale’s interview with the designer and find out why this is shaping up to be a big year for her, head to WWD.com. #wwdfashion (📷: @francoisgoize)
“It’s an interesting thing, playing a younger version of your mother. It’s an interesting concept. I adore my mom and love her in every capacity, but it was just something that had never crossed my mind,” says @anniemstarke on playing a young Joan Castleman in “The Wife.” The same role will be played by her mother Glenn Close. Read more about her growing up in the film industry as the daughter of producer John H. Starke and Close and what she has planned for the future #wwdeye (📷: @nataliamantini)
@asics is launching a new streetwear sneaker inspired by its latest ambassador, @steveaoki. The Hyper-Kenzen x Aoki, which will launch at @footlocker stores exclusively tomorrow, is a slip-on style that incorporates the brand’s proprietary Gel technology through beads integrated into the midsole for comfort and endurance. Read the full story on WWD.com.