PVH Corp. has signed an agreement to acquire direct-to-consumer intimate apparel e-tailer True & Co.
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Emanuel Chirico, PVH’s chairman and chief executive officer, said the deal “illustrates our commitment to driving innovation across our business and demonstrates our commitment to making strategic investments in our digital platforms to support our long-term growth initiatives. We believe that we can leverage the analytics tools of this data-driven company, while leveraging PVH’s intimates category expertise, including global brand management, product know-how and supply chain.”
PVH owns the Warner’s and Olga intimates brands, and has its largest presence in the underwear market for men and women through its Calvin Klein brand.
True & Co. is known for its proprietary fit quiz to help women find the best fit for bras and other merchandise in the intimates category. The start-up has raised more than $12 million in venture capital funding via a Series A round with investors such as Cowboy Ventures, Great Oaks Venture Capital, Crosslink Capital and First Round. True & Co. has said it can provide a personalized customer experience by using more than 130 million data points for more than five million women.
PVH said the acquisition would help it establish a presence in the “fast-growing online channel and provides a platform to increase innovation, data-driven decisions and speed in the way it serves its customers across its channels.”
True & Co. was cofounded by Michelle Lam in 2012, who got the idea following a bad fitting-room experience. The company in based in San Francisco and keeps its design team is in New York.
Lam said she founded the company to change the way women shop for intimate apparel.
“In PVH, we have a strategic partner who can help us bring this change to as many customers as possible. We look forward to joining PVH’s portfolio of brands and to help drive growth initiatives for PVH’s other brands,” she said.
Lam said in a telephone interview that she’s seen an attitudinal shift in the last 12 to 18 months in how the lingerie industry operates and in what women want. She added the trends are moving toward easy fit and comfort.
“When I created the company five years ago, I wanted to revolutionize [the industry] through a consumer-centric product that allows women to be comfortable, sexy and beautiful in their own way as opposed to us trying to stuff women into bras that many not fit,” Lam said.
New to the brand’s product line is a push into lingerie.
At a WWD digital forum in November 2015, Lam said the concept of a brand equals the sum total of interactions that a customer has with the company. Her firm eliminated the word “perfect” and replaced it with “for me,” which made the experience — and the expectation — more about addressing the individual consumer.
She said the brand has identified 20 components in finding the right bra, including technical fit, emotional fit, visual style and quality.
Two years ago, the company introduced a print catalogue that was part of its marketing outreach to new customers, both online and off.
Before founding True & Co., Lam was the first female investor at Bain Capital Ventures, where she worked with companies such as LinkedIn and Rent the Runway. Before Bain, she worked at Microsoft, Boston Consulting Group and PricewaterhouseCoopers.