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The Debrief | How Skims Took on Victoria’s Secret and Spanx

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Founded in 2019 by Kim Kardashian and retail veteran Jens Grede, “solution wear” line Skims has taken the fashion industry by storm, disrupting the sleepy shapewear category and fetching a $3.2 billion valuation following its Series B funding round in January 2022. Now, the brand is looking to launch new categories and in new geographies, and is eyeing brick-and-mortar and a potential IPO.

“Investors particularly like to talk about founder-product fit, and this really felt like a business that accomplished that,” said BoF’s Alexandra Mondalek.

  • Skims has seen non-stop momentum since its launch. Going forward, the brand will have to find a way to keep up with lofty expectations based on its early performance. As Grede told BoF in March, “[Skims] doesn’t have the luxury of failing.”
  • A big challenge Skims has faced is managing unrelenting demand, especially amid the global supply chain crisis. Core items are often out of stock on the brand’s site — a huge problem for getting and keeping customers, and a reason for the business to take on funding, raising a $240 million round in January.
  • A hallmark of Skims’ success has been its marketing approach. From its simple, sexy imagery — a recent campaign featured a number of former Victoria’s Secret models — to the way it has tapped influencers and Kardashian’s powerful network, the brand has focused on brand-building rather than performance marketing.

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