Join the lingerie revolution, says French entrepreneur Morgan Hermand-Waiche. While shopping for his girlfriend, Hermand-Waiche found only expensive lingerie in limited sizes, an experience that led him to unhook the lingerie industry as we know it. He says his e-commerce start-up takes the best of Zara, Victoria's Secret and Amazon to produce fashionable and affordable intimates.
CNBC gave Hermand- Waiche just 60 seconds to reveal his new lingerie line to a panel of experts with Kelly Hoey, Cuurio Chief Marketing Officer, Nikhil Kalghatgi, Vast Ventures Partner, and Alicia Syrett, CEO of Pantegrion Capital. Will they find his start-up hot, or not? Watch the video to find out!
The Adore Me website features more than 400 styles, overseen by Helen Mears, a former director of design for Victoria's Secret. Although designs are done in house, the start-up manufactures its inventory in Asia.
"We work with the largest manufacturers who supply large brands such as Calvin Klein, Victoria's Secret and DKNY," the founder told CNBC.
Inventory ranges from matching sets of bras and panties, to a plus-size collection, corsets and sleepwear, even swimwear. The founder said his start-up launches 30 to 40 new lingerie sets monthly.
The website prices most lingerie sets at $39.95. Customers can purchase lingerie individually, or they can join Adore Me's subscription membership to receive monthly lingerie and other perks. The founder told CNBC that users are not automatically opted in to this membership. However, members receive their first set of lingerie for $24.95 and then pay $39.95 a month for each new set. Users can choose to opt out of the membership or skip a monthly purchase.
Adore Me offers a mobile app for both Android and iOS and carries free shipping across the U.S. and Canada. The site does not ship overseas.
Market Research firm Ibis World reported that the $13.2 billion lingerie industry is growing at an annual rate of 3.8 percent. But Victoria's Secret, the largest American retailer of lingerie, continues to dominate the runway. L Brands, the parent company of Victoria's Secret, reported net sales of $2.207 billion for its December 2014 sales alone.
During the Power Pitch, Kalghatgi asked how the Adore Me quality compares to Victoria's Secret.
"We go direct to customer. We don't use department stores. We have all the reason in the world to give the value that we save back to the customer. And that's why we manage to have a product, which is similar quality to all these great brands, but a fraction of the price. And I think this is what really resonates, with any woman, that try the product," Hermand-Waiche responded.
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But Adore Me faces other competitors in the lingerie start-up space. True & Co, which claims to help customers find their "perfect bra," has already raised approximately $6 million in funding. Existing sites include U.K.-based Figleaves, and lingerie subscription service BlushBox.
So far Adore Me has raised $11.5M in funds from key investors, including Upfront Ventures, RedHills Ventures and Mousse Partners, and has sold over 900 designs since coming online. The start-up is headquartered in New York City with 47 full-time employees. Hermand-Waiche would not disclose any financials regarding sales or profitability, but he did tell CNBC that the company hit $5.6M in revenue in 2013.