Revolve wasn’t kidding when it hinted at accelerated growth after its acquisition of Alliance Apparel last year.
Alliance, on Thursday, launches the ninth brand in its portfolio, named Majorelle after the gardens in Marrakech. The travel-inspired line drops its first shipment of just under 30 stockkeeping units — a mix of bodysuits, maxiskirts, cropped tops, dresses and denim — exclusively on Revolve.com priced from $110 to about $350.
“For me, as a designer and creative director, my first inspiration comes from travel,” said Majorelle designer Rachel Zeilic, who comes to the company after having served as creative director and designer of Stylestalker and The Jetset Diaries. “The whole line is very inspired by travel and, really, the trips that I take with my friends who are my muses.”
Majorelle’s collection infuses bits and pieces from a road trip Zeilic took to Ghost Ranch in New Mexico about six years ago that’s translated in a relatively neutral color palette of blush, ivory and taupe mixed in with blue Aztec prints and a little bit of cowboy, though she said the reference is subtle rather than themed.
Cerritos, Calif.-based Revolve will be the exclusive retailer of the brand until Alliance begins opening wholesale distribution to better department stores and boutiques early next year for spring.
Alliance’s relationship with Revolve deepened last year when it was acquired on undisclosed terms, folding in its brand portfolio of Lovers + Friends, Tularosa and NBD. It had already been working with Revolve as a retail partner prior to the deal.
At the time, Alliance was poised for expansion, closing 2015 with $34 million in sales.
The company’s made good on that with Majorelle being the third brand launched this year, after Grlfrnd denim and House of Harlow 1960 x Revolve. The rate of growth is so quick that sales projections are changing rapidly with an original forecast of $60 million this year bumped up to $102 million through expanded wholesale distribution for its brands and robust sales on Revolve, according to Alliance chief executive officer Mitch Moseley. Some of it is also the coming of age of the older — relatively speaking — brands under the Alliance umbrella, such as Lovers + Friends.
“We’re really seeing the fruits of our labor now,” said Raissa Gerona, vice president of brand marketing and strategic partnerships at Revolve, Fwrd by Elyse Walker and Alliance Apparel. “I also think partnering with the best stores and being really smart with who we sell to has also played a big part in how we’ve grown this year.”
The company, with 85 workers, moved into new downtown Los Angeles headquarters in February and occupies about 15,000 square feet there. Its warehousing facility is shared with Revolve in Cerritos.
More brand launches are in the pipeline this year and into next, all on the apparel side. It’s breakneck speed that could be misconstrued as haphazard, but Gerona and Moseley are quick to point out the launches are calculated business decisions based on data rather than whim.
“We’ve really been planting these seeds and building this for so long so,” Gerona said. “We’ve been with Rachel for over a year-and-a-half and she’s been working on this collection and grinding it out too for so long and it’s the same with Grlfrnd and the same with Lovers. [Fast-paced is] just how it seems, but we’ve had this in the pipeline forever. It’s just all coming at once.”
But there’s also the change in how people are shopping that’s been taking place over the past few years that’s informing these brand launches, pointed out Moseley.
“In regards to the market, people are still buying clothes,” he said. “They’re just buying it a little differently and, launching through mainly an online platform, we’ve just really been able to gain visibility with these brands and sell. Our business is obviously growing dramatically and so, for us, it gives us the confidence to launch these new brands.”