Online clothing retailer Revolve acquires on-premises brands

LOS ANGELES, United States Revolve, an e-commerce site that offers up-and-coming designer fashion with a Los Angeles vibe, is acquiring some of the brands it sells.

Alliance Apparel, which owns Lovers + Friends, Tularosa, NBD and the soon-to-be-launched Raye labels, is moving under the Revolve banner. Combined, the fashion lines forecast gross sales of around $18 million in 2015, according to the company.

Lovers + Friends, in particular, is hugely popular on the Revolve&aposs site and one of its bestsellers. All brands have wholesale outlets and are sold at many other retailers like Nordstrom and Shopbop. Revolve co-founder and co-CEO Michael Mente declined to disclose the purchase price.

By appealing to certain fashion brands, Revolve will be able to quickly fill the gaps in its market if necessary. Each label offers a particular look – if Revolve needs more boho chic dresses, they can turn to Tularosa; if he needs sexier nighttime looks, NBD is on call. “It will allow us to have a stronger product pipeline,” Mente says. “And it will be impactful for their team to go from a scrappy designer to more of a powerhouse.”

This is Revolve’s first acquisition since it was founded in 2003 by Mente and Mike Karanikolas. The tightly owned and seeded company took on its first outside investor nearly a decade after its founding, when TSG Consumer Partners took a minority stake.

Revolve has found success by catering to fashion-savvy women interested in trying out promising new designers. He also runs a sister brand called Forward by Elyse Walker, an upscale site that sells luxury brands like Givenchy, Alexander McQueen and Kenzo.

Revolve expects to hit $400 million in sales this year, although Revolve has so far remained deliberately quiet and coy. “The growth has been very organic and it’s been very repetitive, focused on customer loyalty,” Mente says. “I think we’ll be a bit more out there from a publicity standpoint, from a press standpoint and from a business standpoint and it’ll be fun to change that.”

Mente plans to allow labels to operate largely on their own, he says, with Revolve providing general strategic guidance and advice rather than day-to-day management.

By Kim Bhasin.

Anne G. Cash