Autumn Adeigbo had a very good year.

After the fashion designate secured approximately $ 1.3 million in investment a little over a year ago and settled in Los Angeles, she went from a “one-woman show” to a team of four, increased her income by 400% and caught the attention of celebrity fans like Mindy Kaling, Gwyneth Paltrow, Selma Blair, Kerry Washington and poet Amanda Gorman by quadrupling it Instagram next (currently at 21,000). It is preparing to launch its collections at Bergdorf goodman and Neiman Marcus and was applied to join the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

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“It’s been an intense year for sure,” said Adeigbo WWD. “But it was exciting. And it’s been a steep learning curve.

All the buzz – created in the midst of a global pandemic, nothing less, when consumers were stranded, shutdown events and things like creating lookbooks and hiring in person produced new challenges – n has not gone unnoticed by investors. , That is. The designate, which is known to attract attention Dresses in bright colors and headbands, recently secured nearly $ 3 million in additional funding, led by venture capital firm Offline Ventures, bringing its total investments to over $ 4 million.

“More than creating chic and colorful clothes, Autumn creates a movement linked to durability, design and culture, ”said Brit Morin, general partner at Offline Ventures and founder of digital lifestyle platform Brit + Co.“ Never before has the world seen a multibillion dollar value. fashion label of a young black woman, but we think Autumn Adeigbo has the X factor to be the first. Investing in a fashion brand is controversial in the venture capital world, but I was never about to invest in the fall. She is a true artist with a business on fire.

With the additional funds, Adeigbo hopes to hire more staff and set up a permanent office in new York. It is also open to expansion into other product categories (currently the brand offers women’s ready-to-wear, including jackets and more. outerwear, accessories, housewares and now handbags) and even open their own physical stores in the future. The brand is available on To mix together, ShopBop, Elyse Walker, Anthropology, Nordstrom, Free people and Rent the track, among other retailers.

“I always talk to other people collaborations and other areas of creativity. But I really want to focus on upgrading the operational side of the business, ”Adeigbo said. “We grew up a lot faster than I thought. We hit our revenue targets for this year in June [2021]. So, I don’t want to grow up so fast that we can’t keep up. I don’t mean to say that we are slowing down. But we are focusing on the operational strength of the brand for the rest of the year with this new funding round.

“And team culture is my goal right now,” she continued. “I am passionate about creating a work environment that people love to come to. That’s why I created my own brand. Because I wanted to work in fashion, but fashion didn’t have a reputation for being the healthiest work environment. I have experienced it myself in my trajectory. And I wanted to create a place for people who wanted to experience fashion, but to live it holistically. Building a team is a art. And that’s the one I haven’t perfected yet. I keep learning. “

It helps that she has had seasoned fashion mentors to help her on her journey. These include Tory Burch, whom she met after being named Tory Burch Fellow in 2019, as well as partnerships with Rent the track and Point correction. (Katrina Lake, founder of Point correction, was one of Adeigbo’s first investors.)

“When I strike up a conversation with [Burch], or Katrina, and I ask them very intense questions about starting a business, and they give me very simple answers, ”Adeigbo said. “It taught me not to watch the whole trip and to be so overwhelmed with everything that needs to be done. It’s more about dedication, persistence, patience, hard work and getting back to [something] if it doesn’t work, day in and day out. It’s a little more important, the humility of the way you approach things. Instead of thinking, I am a genius and I will find out how to deal with this monstrosity of building an organization.

“For every successful entrepreneur, this is the most difficult aspect of a business,” she continued. “I love fashion. But if we were talking 50-50, I’m like 51% more interested in the business side of things. I’m more of an entrepreneur, humbly pursuing that lifelong dream of becoming a fashion designer. , which at the same time has evolved into an understanding of entrepreneurship.Because there is so much to be done in starting a business that the design is just a by-product. And that’s why so many fashion brands come and go, I think. Because it’s more of a business than a art form. Art must meet commerce.

Leah Solivan, General Partner at Fuel Capital, who participated in both investment rounds, agreed.

“The progress that Autumn has made over the past year has been truly inspiring and we couldn’t be more thrilled to support her as she continues to be a force in fashion and beyond,” said Solivan. “We are delighted to continue to partner with Autumn as she evolves her brand. “

Of course, her business savvy doesn’t mean she slack off on her designs, which manage to be colorful yet glamorous, playful and feminine at the same time, and have been spotted on many celebrities over the past year or so.

“I’ve really invested in creating a product that stands out and celebrities are people who stand out for their talent, whatever it is. It is therefore a natural synergy of an extraordinary product that attracts an extraordinary person, ”said Adeigbo.

“And I found myself designing a lot sexier,” the designer continued, referring to the West Coast facility, as well as the general trend right now. “People are dressing really sexy right now. All the Met Dresses, or the awards gowns, are see-through and you can see the underwear. I feel like the trend is showing more skin. The pendulum swings. Like, oh, you’re sweaty. Before it was work clothes. And now it’s like, let’s go the other way around and do the opposite of that. This conversation is changing.

“I’m so visually proud of what we’ve created in terms of product, overall brand and footprint,” said Adeigbo. “I knew how difficult it would be to create something really different, something that really stood out. I think we have room for improvement. I still think so. But I would say I’m very proud of what we’ve built so far. And we’re just getting started.


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