Some boots are made for walking, while others, like the ones designed by Tamara Mellon, are made for shattering ceilings.
And that’s just what the stylish e-commerce company did Tuesday, closing one of the largest funding rounds ever for a woman-founded fashion brand. Tamara Mellon raised $50 million in a Series C round, which it plans to use to boost its manufacturing and retail expansion efforts, along with growing its team from 40 employees to 60.
We are also very grateful to our customers and employees who have been with us for an amazing two-and-a-half years, and can't wait for what comes next.”
London-based investment firm Centricus led the round, and offer the company a global perspective as it looks to expand its footprint, said Jill Layfield, who co-founded the company with Tamara Mellon, in a statement.
“Tamara and I are thrilled to have Centricus join our impressive group of investors,” Layfield said. “They are a smart and thoughtful team with an incredibly important global perspective. We are also very grateful to our customers and employees who have been with us for an amazing two-and-a-half years, and can’t wait for what comes next.”
Based in Los Angeles, Tamara Mellon launched in 2013 to provide women with luxury shoes that weren’t beholden to the whims and exorbitant price tags of fashion. Instead, the company partners with shoe makers in Italy to create its own line of shoes designed by women for women without the latest-fashion price markups. Customers can not only order the shoes online but have access to a complimentary cobbler service for two years after their purchase.
The company stomped expectations last year, increasing sales by 136 percent year over year and growing its mobile traffic by more than 80 percent as it introduced Apple Business Chat. Tamara Mellon also opened its first brick-and-mortar location in Los Angeles. The shop is modeled after a shoe closet, with each style displayed in every size on the wall, according to the company.
Meanwhile, Tamara Mellon expanded its offerings in 2019, with the launch of a handbag and sneaker line.
Existing investors NEA and Quadrille Capital also participated in the round. The round brings Tamara Mellon’s total funding to $87 million.