Though it may have crept up quietly, Tamara Mellon appears positioned to make waves in the luxury footwear sector.
The brand announced Monday a $24 million Series B round of financing, bringing the company’s total amount of capital raised to $37 million.
Investors were wooed by Tamara Mellon’s growth. Sales in first half of 2018 were three times more than sales in the first half of 2017, with the majority of the growth driven by mobile sales. The company said the cash injection will go toward expanding its product assortment and hiring new employees.
Launched in 2016 by Jimmy Choo co-founder Tamara Mellon, the eponymous label sought to disrupt the luxury footwear space by marketing and selling Italian footwear directly to consumers without the traditional retail markup. And it has done that with a robust social media presence, celebrity seeding and connecting with millennial consumers using messaging tied to female empowerment. In April, Mellon spoke out about workplace equality and revealed that at Jimmy Choo she was paid less than the men she managed. Mellon left Jimmy Choo in 2011.
The Frontline, a strappy leather and PVC sandal, and the slouch Icon boot have become signatures of the line. The collection retails for $325 for flats to $1,695 for all-in-one pant and shoe hybrids.
“We are building a brand for women who want more from a luxury brand,” Mellon said. “Our customer expects unparalleled design and superior construction at a better price. Most importantly, she wants to align herself with a brand that stands up for women. The intersection of culture and commerce is reshaping the way brands are built, and we’re thrilled to be a part of this shift.”
Fundraising was led by existing investors New Enterprise Associates (NEA), with participation from a new investor, Quadrille Capital.
“With Tamara Mellon, you have a founder who built a billion-dollar company in the analog world and is now doing it in the digital world, completely upending the model,” said Tony Florence, head of technology investing at NEA. “The company embodies a new generation of consumer businesses that are using a direct-to-consumer approach to really understand and better serve their customers. We are really excited to continue partnering with this incredible team as they start to scale the business.”