NEW YORK, United States — US-based activewear retailer Bandier has raised $34.4 million in funding to support its next stage of growth, as the global activewear market continues to boom.
The round included participation from investors C Ventures and Eurazeo Brands, which is taking a minority stake in the company. Funds have already been earmarked for omnichannel growth, customer acquisition, scaling Bandier’s digital footprint and building out a world-class team.
“Our vision for Bandier is to be the premier multi-channel platform for an active woman who loves fashion, fitness and wellness,” explained Jennifer Bandier, Co-Founder and Chief Brand Officer.
By integrating elements of wellness, beauty and fashion into its stores, she hopes to “revitalize the brand and take it in interesting new directions”.
Founded in 2014 by the former music executive turned entrepreneur, Bandier’s first store opened in Southampton, New York with an experiential retail model. Today, the company has seven retail stores in key US markets and a strong e-commerce business which accounts for approximately half of its revenue. The business also operates Studio B, an in-store boutique fitness studio, which offers dance, yoga and HIIT classes. Two further Studio B fitness boutiques are set to open at Zero Bond in Manhattan and Melrose in Los Angeles, later this year.
Chalking up the brand’s success to the “casualization” of fashion, which The NPD Group says has been driven by consumers increasingly opting for yoga pants, sweatpants and hoodies over dressing up, Bandier told Glossy: “The trend and crossover between fashion and active only seems to be growing stronger. Our customer leads a very active lifestyle, and they want their everyday outfits to really perform for them. We also see the overall casualization of fashion as a continuing trend. Sneakers seem to have replaced high heels. Our customer wants performance and comfort, but they also demand sophistication.”
Keen to leverage that demand, Eurazeo Brands CEO Jill Granoff explained: “Bandier is at the forefront of the activewear movement and is well positioned to gain meaningful market share in this fast-growing sector.” By pooling our respective capabilities, the plan he explained: “Is to drive product and digital expansion and become the destination for luxury activewear globally.”
As consumers continue to prioritise their health, this should continue to fuel the market for activewear and performance items, commented Diana Smith Associate Director – Retail & Apparel at research firm Mintel recently.
“Comparable to this trend, there’s also a very noticeable pattern of lifestyle marketing within the industry as brands and retailers look to evolve activewear to the next phase, which ironically doesn’t always involve exercise occasions but rather everyday activities,” she added.
With the activewear movement and its influence on fashion continuing to grow, Bandier is in a stronger position than ever to capitalise on the market.