Who run the world? When it comes to running the Parisian accessories and ready-to-wear firm Destree, the answer is women, not girls. The brand boasts a bevy of new investors, including superstar singer-entrepreneurs Beyoncé and Rihanna.
While each artist has her own fashion ventures, they are also part of a landmark fundraising effort that also has attracted investments from Reese Witherspoon, Gisele Bündchen, Jessica Alba, Glossier founder Emily Weiss and Gabriela Hearst, among others, reports Women’s Wear Daily (WWD).
The six-year-old Destree was cofounded by French entrepreneur Géraldine Guyot, “who has parlayed her passion for modern and contemporary art into unique hats, handbags, jewelry and now apparel,” according to WWD. The brand’s series A funding will allow Destree to significantly grow its team, open its first brick-and-mortar locations, break into new markets, and “supercharge e-commerce operations and digital-native marketing.”
“So far we’ve grown organically, reinvesting our own profits since Day One,” explained Guyot in an interview with WWD. “Our main growth avenue is market share gain, which will come by increasing our physical and digital presence.”
While the specific amounts Beyoncé, Rihanna and others have invested remains undisclosed, the all-female funding of this round is reportedly a first in the fashion industry and a deliberate effort on the part of Guyot and Destree cofounder Laetitia Lumbroso, who will retain majority control of the brand. WWD reports the woman-centric fundraising approach was a draw for the label’s new investors, “a diverse group with knowledge and experience across sustainability, fashion-tech, entrepreneurship, communications, beauty and entertainment.”
“In this crowded and competitive space, Destree has had a very promising start by already establishing a strong DNA, which often determines future growth,” Angelica Cheung, former editor-in-chief of Vogue China, told WWD. Cheung is a venture partner at Sequoia Capital China, which led this round of investments. “We’re excited to be part of their journey while leveraging our global and local resources to help them realize their ambitions.”
The brand has already benefitted from the ultimate celebrity endorsement. WWD reports Beyoncé was one of the first major celebrities to carry a Destree bag, sporting the brand’s “Alvar” bag to a New York Fashion Week event. While the brand also offers jewelry, hats, and ready-to-wear, bags remain Destree’s biggest product category.
“I’ve always been fascinated by the relentless efficiency of accessories,” Guyot told WWD. “Your outfit can be very simple, but accessories always give it character.”
Coincidentally, Guyot recently wed the son of Bernard Arnault, the chairman and CEO of LVMH, which is a partner in Rihanna’s highly lucrative Fenty Beauty as well her currently-shuttered luxury fashion line, Fenty Maison. LVMH is also connected to Beyoncé, as it acquired Tiffany & Co. in early 2021, the same year the star and husband Jay-Z appeared in the jeweler’s headline-making “About Love” campaigns. LVMH is also a partner in Jay’s Armand de Brignac cognac brand, but this venture is all about independent women (pun intended).
“We are thankful for and honored by our female-only funding round,” said Guyot. “So many of our role models are participating.”
Maiysha Kai is Lifestyle Editor of theGrio, covering all things Black and beautiful. Her work is informed by two decades’ experience in fashion and entertainment, a love of great books and aesthetics, and the indomitable brilliance of Black culture. She is also a Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter and editor of the YA anthology Body (Words of Change series).
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