● Growth investor Highland Europe behind Matchesfashion.com, Threads and Huel is leading the investment
● Female-founded ME+EM is seeing triple-digit growth as consumers prioritize high-quality products with sustainability credentials
● US, Australia and Middle East are key growth regions
London, 22 March 2022–(BUSINESS WIRE)–ME+EM – the UK’s first and fastest growing direct-to-consumer luxury fashion brand – has raised from investors led by Highland Europe £55 million as it hopes to bring the smart style beloved by busy women to celebrities, fashion editors and more international clients. After triple-digit revenue growth globally, the highly profitable brand will accelerate its expansion in the U.S., followed by continental Europe, Australia and the Middle East.
Born in London but revered globally, ME+EM clothing is designed for the busy modern woman. ME+EM customers span generations and are not prepared to choose between quality and cost. At ME+EM, they found a brand that combines function and fit with contemporary style and exceptional ethical values.
Founded by UK entrepreneur and former advertising executive Clare Hornby, ME+EM has achieved triple-digit revenue growth over the past year, thanks to its data-driven, purpose-driven approach to making sustainable, The popularization of long-lasting, modern luxury clothing. Each bespoke piece in its collection is designed around ME+EM’s philosophy of “smart style” – it has to be flatter and fitter, while having a timeless style.
The brand’s sales are almost entirely online, thanks to a strong digital presence created through lookbooks, storytelling and providing customers with a seamless buying journey. From its curated collections, women can purchase single pieces online and in-store, or head-to-toe dressing solutions. Known as the “Lego of Fashion,” ME+EM helps busy women shop for items that fit and stack perfectly at the touch of a button, increasing sales and loyalty.
“From day one, we’ve been passionate about the democratization of luxury for busy women of all ages who want to wear clothes that are beautifully tailored, crafted with attention to detail and fit perfectly,” Founder and CEO Claire Hornby said. “Seeing soaring demand for our apparel in the U.S. and other major international markets, we know there is global interest in the tailoring, quality and style we create. As a digital-first, data-driven business, we are seeing a tremendous opportunity to swing In front of us, with Highland Europe’s expertise in this area, we can use technology to more effectively delight and serve customers around the world.”
Built on incredible growth
ME+EM’s understanding of the needs and wants of busy, multi-generational, affluent women has made it a favorite among the world’s growing community of loyal clients, celebrities and fashion editors. The Duchess of Cambridge often wears the brand, strict Host Claudia Winkelman, and other fashion icons.
This loyalty and brand satisfaction enabled ME+EM to achieve triple-digit revenue growth in 2021, compared with roughly 20% growth for the overall online fashion industry. The brand has quadrupled its revenue in more than three years and has seen demand from high-spending U.S. customers soar. The US was the fastest growing region for ME+EM, with triple-digit revenue growth.
Demand from U.S. shoppers has created opportunities to open new stores in New York and Boston. ME+EM is also accelerating expansion in Australia, the Middle East, Canada, Switzerland and Hong Kong, where it also has a fast-growing customer base.
Without sacrificing style and sustainability
At the heart of ME+EM’s success is a strong commitment to sustainable development. By eliminating middlemen and manufacturing products using responsibly sourced materials in family-run factories, ME+EM is able to provide the highest standards at affordable prices. Its data-led approach and direct relationships with manufacturers give ME+EM transparency and visibility throughout its supply chain. The brand is a member of sustainability initiatives such as Better Cotton and a member of the global auditing platform SEDEX and the Ethical Trading Initiative.
More than half of the SS21 collection is made from natural or recycled materials. Its upholstery, fabrics, samples and write-off inventory are donated to art schools, colleges and charities such as SmartWorks and NEWLIFE. In this way, ME+EM is committed to a zero landfill policy.
Sam Brooks, Partner at Highland Europe, said: “ME+EM’s relentless focus on quality, fit and sustainability has inspired an incredibly loyal customer base and has seen impressive growth over the past few years. In addition to our success in the UK, we are proud of our customers from Impressed by strong demand from international clients, a testament to the brand’s global relevance and appeal. Claire is a fantastic leader and we are delighted to be working with her and the ME+EM team.”
Highland Europe will join existing investors, including TalkTalk executive chairman Sir Charles Dunstone CVO, and Venrex Investment Management, an early backer of UK fintech and decacorn Revolut, makeup brands Charlotte Tilbury, Not on the High Street and fashion shopping app Lyst.
Arrowpoint Advisory advised ME+EM on fundraising matters.
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About me + EM:
Founded in 2009 by British entrepreneur Clare Hornby, ME+EM’s brand ethos is smart style – clothing for women, focusing on pieces that are flattering, functional and always luxurious. ME+EM is dedicated to creating flattering style solutions for the busy woman, renowned for superior quality and fit, and available at affordable prices through a direct-to-consumer proposition. High-profile fans include Saoirse Ronan, Amal Clooney and Cara Delevigne, who sum up ME+EM’s brand spirit of timeless style. ME+EM has six boutiques in London and franchises in Harrods, Selfridges London and Selfridges Manchester. New York and Boston boutiques are scheduled to launch in 2023.
About the European Highlands:
Highland Europe invests in exceptional growth stage software and consumer internet companies. Active in Europe as Highland Capital Partners in 2003 and officially launched in 2012, Highland Europe has raised over €1.8 billion and has invested in Adjust, AMCS, Camunda, ContentSquare, Featurespace, GetYourGuide, Huel, Jellysmack, Malwarebytes, MatchesFashion and others. com, NewVoiceMedia, Nextink, Spot, Supermetrics, WeTransfer, Wolt and Zwift. Highland’s collective investment history in the United States, Europe and China includes 52 IPOs and $19 billion+ companies.
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