AdoreMe is a fast-growing lingerie startup that has raised an $8.5 million Series B round of financing from Upfront Ventures, Mousse Partners and Redhills Ventures. And although the intimates and swim wear site looks just like Victoria’s Secret, it wasn’t created by a woman.
Morgan Hermand-Waiche’s family runs a fashion business in France. So when he was at Harvard Business School and recognised a pain point women face while lingerie shopping, it wasn’t hard for him to create AdoreMe.
“I frequently heard friends and family complain about how there needed to be a better option for buying lingerie in the U.S.,” Hermand-Waiche tells Business Insider. “People are so tired of high prices and slow-fashion from Victoria’s Secret.”
AdoreMe is a vertically-integrated e-commerce startup. It feels a lot like Victoria’s Secret, down to the black and hot pink font, bikini shots on beaches, and perfectly sculpted models. But unlike Victoria’s Secret, the prices are unbelievably cheap. A woman’s first matching lingerie set is sold for $20 and $39.95 after that. Shipping is free in the U.S. although AdoreMe’s products ship all over the world. A Victoria’s Secret bra alone costs at least $40.
It’s difficult to know if AdoreMe’s low price point is sustainable but the fact that it’s owning the supply chain and has no storefronts helps. Its lingerie is all unique to the site so it can’t be bought elsewhere. AdoreMe works with suppliers and manufacturers which allows its staff to edit, alter and improve all of the pieces. It’s also working on an in-house collection.
“I knew there was a huge opportunity in using ZARA’s fast fashion model and applying it to intimates,” Hermand Waiche says. ZARA is a European brand that resembles H&M, Express or Forever 21. Recently it has gained popularity in the States and it’s known for being affordable and fashion-forward.
“By offering designer-crafted lingerie at an incredible price and with the convenience of online shipping we’re quickly chipping away at Victoria’s Secret’s market share.”
He says the company shipped 100,000 items before its first birthday. The company is less than two years old and investors are optimistic, even though other competitors in the startup space such as True & Co already exist.
“When we saw the growth numbers combined with the quality of Adore Me’s products we knew we had found a category killer,” Upfront Ventures’ founding partner Yves Sisteron says in a release.
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