We are thrilled to announce our investment in ANINE BING, an exciting digital-first women’s fashion brand, as we are co-leading their $15m series A, together with Index Ventures and Greycroft. Based in LA, started by Danish founders, ANINE BING offers a selection of statement pieces and luxurious basics, mixing a small essentials collection with new seasonal collections added every month, inspired by the fusion of both Scandinavian heritage and American spirit. The brand is based on the lifestyle and creative vision of the founder Anine Bing, a former model turned designer. You can see more of the latest Fall collection below.
Anine Bing has been on our Instagram feed for some time as we marvelled at how she built her community and following, authentically and organically. Felix, we love passionate, mission-driven founders who can scale with their business. Anine Bing, founder and creative director of the firm, is a fashion lover and professional, having been in the industry since the age of 15, first as a model and then as a creative. Before launching her own brand, she partnered with different brands for design collaborations which enabled her to continuously improved her eye. We were impressed by this female founder empowering women with a busy lifestyle by offering them a wardrobe with pieces that are on point but easy to mix and match.
Our investment thesis is driven by three key attributes that we see in the brand, team and business:
- Community & Brand
As consumers investors, we are looking for authentic brands that are able to create a deep emotional link with their community. Anine Bing has been built organically, on the back of a very strong presence in social media (over 600k followers on Instagram). Anine shares many aspects of her life including having to juggle work as an entrepreneur, family with 2 kids and a husband, and the many constraints of modern life. This helps to create authentic connections with customers who share similar challenges and relate to Anine’s esthetics. Leveraging this organic community, the firm has been able to build brand affinity with its target community, translating into strong engagement on social media (as illustrated by the #aninebing hastags across Instagram and the many likes and comments gathered by Anine’s posts). In addition, this community is international, with customers queuing in Anine Bing’s stores in LA, NY, London, Berlin or Paris.
2. Team & Product
The business was started by Anine and her husband Nico. Anine is the creative force and the “muse” for the brand; as a real “tastemaker” she has the ability to create products across various lifestyle categories (clothing, shoes, accessories, home, beauty, kids, etc.). Nico is CEO and has a background in retail and apparel manufacturing, an essential asset to translate Anine’s vision into reality. The combination of their respective skillsets is that the brand creates great products. As consumer-centric investors, we have seen countless companies where the team was very focused on a market opportunity and where product was an afterthought. We love businesses that are built the other way round, i.e. product first, often driven by passion. The result is a remarkable ability to create new products with regular drops during the season, while controlling prices, margin and quality. This is absolutely in line with customers expectations, who want new products (consistent in price and quality) more regularly and value the curation that comes with such model. This is an essential foundation to build a healthy fashion business.
3. Multichannel experience
From the beginning, Anine and Nico’s vision was to connect with customers across multiple channels, and to create a unique “experience” around the brand: online first, complemented by own retail with a select number of stores in top cities and supported by strategic wholesale accounts. ANINE BING is able to create connections with consumers across these multiple touch points, with consistency and a focus on customer delight.
As a result, we believe that ANINE BING has all of the ingredients to create a long-lasting and influential brand, with a distinct identity and healthy business model. We are extremely pleased to welcome ANINE BING in the Felix family and to partner with the team on their expansion plans, together with our friends at Index Ventures and Greycroft!