Monday, August 21, 2017|
Rigorously defining what luxury now means today, and covering the businesses at the forefront.
Subscribe to Lean Luxe Today

Current Briefings

Co-founders and partners Matthew Growney and Eric Lepleux | Fabulous Brands
Money

Meet Fabulous Brands: A growth capital firm addressing the “capitalization gap” for modern luxury upstarts.

Having just come out of stealth, and with investments in Naadam and True Botanicals, Fabulous Brands is a new $50M fund that’s aiming to provide the growth capital young brands need to get from $5M to $50M in eighteen months.

READ MORE →
$261M worth of pedal power | Rapha
Money

Rapha’s buyout by Walmart heirs marks the first M&A deal for an activewear brand in the modern luxury category.

Rapha’s $261M purchase by Walmart heirs Steuart and Tom Walton puts an end to an ‘on again, off again’ sale saga that stretched across nine long months.

READ MORE →
Clever messaging from CEO David Sobie and team | Happy Returns
Retail

With “Return Bars” and “Returnistas”, Happy Returns is eliminating the hassle of returning online orders by mail.

Happy Returns is a new upstart that’s addressing a new need in today’s e-commerce driven world: Rather than doing returns by mail, customers are able to drop off their online returns at a Happy Bar, and Happy Returns handles the rest.

READ MORE →
Getting closer by the day | Monocle
Launches

Update: Not yet launched, Monocle’s Summer Weekly is already profitable.

Far from being a mere passion project, this is targeting a timely business opportunity – and they’ve got a clear idea of who their target customer is (and where they’re often found in August).

READ MORE →
Solving problems in the nude | Heist
Business

The Nude Project: Heist to crowdsource a skin-tone color palette index, with free and open access to all companies.

Perhaps the most astonishing revelation about nude undergarments and apparel is that, compared to, say, the cosmetics industry – of which there’s an overabundance of nude options – in clothing, there are only a handful.

READ MORE →
Hot off the presses | Monocle
Launches

Scoop: Monocle to release new weekly newspaper on select shelves this August.

We’d heard rumors for several months that a new weekly by the publisher was in the works. In Berlin, editors Andrew Tuck and Tyler Brûlé revealed what they’ve been working on these last few months.

READ MORE →
The new Argent store taking over Kit and Ace's former location in DC | Popville
Retail

Report: Landlords, burned by Kit and Ace, turn to small luxury brands to fill short term leases.

Lean Luxe has learned that landlords, while they search for long term tenants, are warming up to short term leases with smaller modern luxury brands who’ve been scrappy enough to pitch them on these spaces.

READ MORE →
Burmeister and Clemens, operating on a different level | REDEF
Business

Outlier’s Abe Burmeister and Tyler Clemens deliver their best interview yet.

Where the Nikes, Adidases, and even Under Armours of the world are complacent, Outlier picks up the technical clothing slack.

READ MORE →
Gilboa and Blumenthal | Warby Parker
Business

Neil Blumenthal and Dave Gilboa: “Warby’s next step could be telemedicine, and we want to be a pioneer.”

Having already conquered branding, retail, and product, Warby Parker is eyeing new frontiers as it gears up for international expansion and an inevitable IPO. One big opportunity for growth: telemedicine.

READ MORE →
Wainwright goes on record with TechCrunch | TechCrunch
Money

The RealReal’s Julie Wainwright reveals IPO plans.

While some brands — for whom an IPO is merely a matter of time and an obvious next step — are tight-lipped and coy about their intentions to go public, The RealReal’s CEO Julie Wainwright is forthright on the matter.

READ MORE →
Rapha, soon to be sold to the highest bidder | Google
Money

The Rapha race: At least two bids have been tabled, valuing the brand at $261M.

Louis Vuitton may have backed out of the running, but the race to buy Rapha is still very much on.

READ MORE →
From left to right: Brûlé, Fehnert, Harris, McNally, and Haouache debate. | Lean Luxe
Retail

‘The Future of Retail’: Highlights from the best panel at last month’s Monocle conference in Berlin.

In Berlin, Storefront’s Mohamed Haouache, Perfumer H’s Lyn Harris, and Sarah McNally of McNally Jackson brought the house down in a cracking, back-and-forth debate on what the future holds for high-end retail.

READ MORE →
Vello's integrated lighting system | Vello
Business

On our radar: Vello folding bikes, found at last month’s Monocle conference in Berlin.

Several compelling brands and businesses were put on our radar at the Monocle conference in Berlin last month, but it was Austrian cycle enterprise, Vello, that stayed top of mind for us.

READ MORE →
Mark Cho | Mark Cho
Business

The Armoury CEO Mark Cho on modernity, brand building, and acquiring Drake’s of London.

Armoury founder Mark Cho’s projects are characterized by a ravenous, curious, and detail minded approach, fueled by constant travel between New York, London, Hong Kong, and Tokyo.

READ MORE →
Wilson at his newest venture, Ride Cycle Club | Business Vancouver
Business

Former CEO JJ Wilson gets candid about the internal disfunction at Kit and Ace.

Wilson has been forthcoming on Kit and Ace’s missteps in a PR push aimed to both raise his profile and build momentum for the debut of his new clothing brand arriving this fall.

READ MORE →
Lean Luxe