Wacoal International Corporation has confirmed that it acquiring digitally native and size-inclusive lingerie brand, Lively, founded by Victoria's Secret alum, Michelle Cordeiro Grant.
Lively, part of Intimates Online, Inc., is headquartered in New York with two retail stores in New York and Chicago, and has become known as a category disrupter within lingerie for its high-end style and comfort approach, as well as its vast community of over 80,000 ambassadors built through social networking and digital media marketing methods.
Launched in 2016, Lively offers intimates, bodysuits, loungewear, swimwear and fragrances, and has raised 15 million US dollars in venture capital funding, including a 6.5 million US dollar Series A investment from GGV Capital, NF Ventures (Gelmart International), and former Nautica chief executive Harvey Sanders.
Michelle Cordeiro Grant, founder and chief executive of Lively, who will remain in her role beyond the acquisition, said in a statement: ”We built Lively to inspire women to live life passionately, purposefully, and confidently. We invest in our community and customers to empower them to celebrate their individuality and enable them with products to look and feel their best.
“Wacoal's core values have a beautiful synergy with Lively's, enabling us to come together, not just to take market share, but to also create market share. We are so proud to be joining such an incredible organisation and look forward to the positive impact we can make together for our customers and communities around the world."
Lingerie brand Lively acquired by Wacoal International
The acquisition, worth a reported 85 million US dollars, will keep the two lingerie companies operating as separate entities, with Wacoal adding that the deal will see the “confluence of complementary core values and synergies” between both brands, allowing both to be positioned to compete in what it calls an “evolving intimates market”.
It notes that Lively brings an expansive community of engaged millennial customers, different from the core of Wacoal's current base, which it adds will enable both brands to “capture future growth through e-commerce and digital marketing methods”.
Lively will also gain access to Wacoal's design and manufacturing resources and distribution channels and both brands will benefit from aligned corporate values to expand the business outside the United States through the Wacoal International group network.
"The Lively brand has worldwide business potential that may be achieved with Wacoal corporate support globally," said Bob Vitale, president and chief executive of Wacoal America. "As one of the digitally native brands that are positively disrupting the US intimates' business, Lively has quickly established an incredible following.”
Vitale added: “Our collaboration with Lively will no doubt result in dramatic sales growth and market share gains in the Americas, enabling both brands to engage and win the important millennial customer, and market more effectively in the evolving digital world.”
Wacoal was founded in Japan in 1949 by Koichi Tsukamoto and features its namesake brand Wacoal, as well as B.Tempt’d, Fantasie, Freya, Elomi, and Leia.
Images: via Lively Facebook