B Michael America has secured growth capital via a personal investment from Brett Howroyd for an unspecified amount.
B Michael cofounders B Michael, the designer; and Mark-Anthony Edwards, chief executive officer and chairman, said the investment would aid in executing strategic plans for global expansion.
Helaine Suval, an operating partner at Marvin Traub Associates, said her company is helping the fashion firm “grow its business nationally and globally, including online….We are exploring the potential for an enhanced web site.”
According to B Michael’s ceo, the company and Howroyd were in discussions before the apparel firm was featured in The New York City Economic Development Corp.’s $500,000 “Made in NY: Fashion” campaign. The campaign is part of the NYCEDC’s initiatives to strengthen fashion’s design, manufacturing and educational sectors.
Edwards said the company manufactures everything in New York. “The partnership with Howroyd allows us to put in place initiatives to grow the company. It was also important for us to have an investor that also supported the manufacturing effort in New York,” he said.
B Michael started in the industry as a hat designer for Oscar de la Renta and Louis Feraud before starting his namesake collection. He became a CFDA member in 1998 and in 1999 started his first couture collection with the help of CFDA founder Eleanor Lambert. Fans of his designs include Cicely Tyson, Valerie Simpson, Beyoncé, Patti LaBelle and Brandy Norwood, among others. He also designed the late Whitney Houston’s costumes for the motion picture “Sparkle.”
His ready-to-wear fashion line B Michael America Red was introduced at Macy’s in 2012.
Howroyd is a director at Act-1 Group, a staffing and human resource firm his mother founded in 1978 that is now a $3 billion enterprise firm and is one of the largest minority-owned family businesses in America. The company has 17,000 clients and 2,600 employees in 19 countries.