Man Raises $8.5 Million For Victoria's Secret Killer, AdoreMe, Which Sells Half-Price Lingerie
Adam Rifkin stashed this in Couture
AdoreMe is a fast-growing lingerie startup that has raised an $8.5 million Series B round of financing from Upfront Ventures, Mousse Partners and Redhills Ventures. And although the intimates and swim wear site looks just like Victoria's Secret, it wasn't created by a woman.
Morgan Hermand-Waiche's family runs a fashion business in France. So when he was at Harvard Business School and recognized a pain point women face while lingerie shopping, it wasn't hard for him to create AdoreMe.
"I frequently heard friends and family complain about how there needed to be a better option for buying lingerie in the U.S.," Hermand-Waiche tells Business Insider. "People are so tired of high prices and slow-fashion from Victoria's Secret."
AdoreMe is a vertically-integrated e-commerce startup. It feels a lot like Victoria's Secret, down to the black and hot pink font, bikini shots on beaches, and perfectly sculpted models. But unlike Victoria's Secret, the prices are unbelievably cheap. A woman's first matching lingerie set is sold for $20 and $39.95 after that. Shipping is free in the U.S. although AdoreMe's products ship all over the world. A Victoria's Secret bra alone costs at least $40.
TechCrunch adds that this brings their total funding to $11.2 million since they raised $2.7 million seed:
"Adore Me operates on a rapid manufacture-to-retail cycle in which the brand introduces a new 30-40 piece collection every month, at a price point of about $39.95 for a matching bra and knicker set. Victoria’s Secret, by comparison, only produces two major collections a year. That’s the difference on which Adore Me hopes to get in on the everyday woman’s lingerie budget."
How they make models look good: It's more than Photoshop.
The VIP accounts are really just subscription services, sort of like Amazon Prime. The accounts give you free shipping, free exchanges for unwanted items, and discounts on several products. Memberships appear to be free at first, but the sites actually charge you about $40 (depending on the site) unless you buy something at least once a month or opt out of the service.
Compare with Victoria's Secret, which has no subscription. Just buy things.
While these brands are consumer-friendly and creative, their business models ignore exactly what makes Victoria's Secret so successful.
In the '90s, Victoria's Secret used to focus on value. But the brand floundered because there was nothing to set it apart from other price-friendly brands like Hanes and Maidenform.
Victoria's Secret didn't start dominating lingerie until it stopped being cheap and began focusing on the customer experience.
Victoria's Secret is like Apple: it is a premium brand people will pay extra for.