Sole Society has won $8 million in Series B funding from Nordstrom and Insight Venture Partners, and is now armed with the financial support needed to fuel its aggressive expansion plans. The latest round comes on the heels of Sole Society revamping its executive team.
Increased financial backing, coupled with new leadership, is expected to help the brand improve operations and expand distribution through its e-Commerce site and network of retail partners.
Sole Society initially began as a sister site to HauteLook, shortly after Nordstrom acquired the flash sale site in February 2011. In December 2011, Sole Society spun off as a standalone company, adding an e-Commerce site and a series of successful pop-up shops to its portfolio. Over the years, Nordstrom has remained a key investor and Sole Society products are available for purchase in a number of Nordstrom locations across the U.S.
Former CEO Andrea Wasserman stepped down from her position and went on to join Hudson’s Bay Company in October 2014. Long-time employee and COO Andy Solomon stepped into the position in January 2015. During his tenure at Sole Society, Solomon has played a key role in expanding Sole Society’s distribution from direct-to-consumer by helping establish key partnerships with Nordstrom and QVC.
“We believe there is a significant white space in the market for the Sole Society product,” Solomon said. “Our customers are looking for high-quality, on-trend, but not overly trendy footwear, handbags and accessories at a fantastic value. This funding, along with our new leadership team, positions our brand for healthy growth over the next 12 to 18 months and beyond.”
Most recently, Sole Society hired Louisa Chen as its new CFO. She has garnered more than 10 years of investment banking and financial leadership experience at Barclays, Guggenheim and Lehman Brothers. The brand also has onboarded Marly Dreis as VP of Marketing. With experience at some of the leading fashion brands, including Kenneth Cole, Calvin Klein and Armani Exchange, Dreis most recently acted as Brand Strategy Director at Nordstrom. She is tasked with building the brand voice of Sole Society, as well as raising brand awareness and leading customer acquisition and retention efforts.
“I see enormous opportunity for our relatively young brand,” Dreis said. “The challenge of developing the brand’s voice and visual identity, as well as the ability to build a team and execute a plan to drive growth for Sole Society was an opportunity I just couldn’t pass up.”