LONDON — Olivela, a fashion and luxury e-commerce site that donates 20 percent of every purchase to charity, is poised for international expansion, and has hired veterans of Harrods and Matchesfashion to help spearhead the move.
Maria Milano, who resigned earlier this year as Harrods’ head of buying, women’s wear and children’s wear, will be joining as chief merchant and will be based in London. Prior to Harrods, Milano held editorial roles at InStyle and Condé Nast.
She joins Fiona Greiner, who is Olivela’s chief financial officer. Greiner previously served as CFO of Matchesfashion.com and prior to that she held the role of finance director at Jack Wills.
The company said the new senior hires will help “to elevate Olivela’s mission to help those in need around the globe” and to position the company for continued growth.
“I am thrilled to welcome both Maria and Fiona to our team,” said Stacey Boyd, a philanthropist and founder of Olivela.
“Their collective experience and knowledge of the retail and luxury fashion landscape will help further our company’s goals of creating value for customers, generating strong, sustainable growth and, most importantly, nudging the world a little through our nonprofit partners.”
A blend of “Olive” and “Vela,” the cause-based Olivela means growth and wisdom.
The latest stage of growth will be revealed later this year when the site prepares to debut a new design, and add international deliveries and more European labels.
The expansion comes two years after Olivela raised $35 million in Series A financing led by Morgan Stanley’s London division.
Founded on a philanthropic business model by Boyd, who also serves as CEO, the company operates an e-commerce site and pop-up shops throughout the U.S.
It stocks hundreds of brands from fashion to beauty, athleisure, beachwear, denim, home, travel and gifts — all with a lifestyle angle.
From the get-go it has automatically donated 20 percent of proceeds to charitable causes across the globe with every purchase, with a particular focus on girls’ and young women’s advancement and education. It also allows customers to select the charity of their choice from the site’s list of partners.
It partners with 28 organizations that help those most at risk across the globe, with a focus on girls’ education, women’s empowerment, climate action and health services.
To date, the luxury retailer said it has donated 714,613 days of school to underprivileged children and provided 262,254 meals and essential supplies to kids in need through its partnership with Save the Children and No Kid Hungry.
Olivela is also partnered with the Malala Fund, which is working toward a world where every girl can learn and lead.