British direct-to-consumer modern luxury fashion brand ME+EM raises £55m to accelerate international expansion
Arrowpoint Advisory’s Consumer, Retail and Leisure team has advised the shareholders of ME+EM – the UK’s first, and fastest growing direct-to-consumer luxury fashion brand – on its £55m fund raise from investors led by Highland Europe as it looks to bring its intelligent style beloved by busy women celebrities, and fashion editors of all ages to more international customers. Having seen triple digit revenue growth globally the highly profitable brand will accelerate expansion in the US, followed by continental Europe, Australia and the Middle East.
Born out of London but sold and revered globally, ME+EM’s clothes are designed for the busy, modern woman by women. ME+EM customers span the generations and are not prepared to choose between quality and cost. In ME+EM, they have found a brand that combines function and fit with contemporary style, as well as exceptional ethical values.
Founded by British entrepreneur and former advertising executive, Clare Hornby, ME+EM has enjoyed triple digit revenue growth over the past year thanks to its data-driven, purpose-led approach to democratising access to sustainable, long-lasting, contemporary luxury clothing. Every tailored line in its collection is designed around ME+EM’s ‘intelligent style’ ethos - it must flatter and fit, while being functional with a timeless style.
The brand’s sales are almost entirely online, driven by a strong digital presence created through lookbooks, storytelling and a seamless buying journey for its customers. From its curated collections, women can buy individual pieces online and in-store or shop head to toe dressing solutions. Dubbed ‘fashion lego’, ME+EM helps busy women buy items that fit and layer perfectly together at the touch of a button, thus driving increased sales and loyalty.
“From day one we’ve been passionate about democratising luxury for busy women of all ages who want to wear beautifully tailored clothes, made with care and attention to detail, that fit perfectly,” said founder and CEO Clare Hornby. “Having seen soaring demand for our clothes in the US and other key international markets, we know that there is a global appetite for the cut, quality, and style that we have created. As a digital first, data-driven business we are seeing a huge opportunity ahead of us and with Highland Europe’s expertise in this area, we can use technology to delight and serve our customers across the world even more effectively. We selected Arrowpoint Advisory because of their strategic approach, wealth of connections and belief in our business model. We also wanted a team who could help us successfully articulate our strong growth story to investors globally, who are understandably cautious as they look to back the long-term digital winners post the Covid period. Simon and the whole team remained ambitious and diligent to the final hour and we couldn’t have found a more perfect partner to help us with our exciting next chapter of growth.”
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 generated impressive growth over the past several years. In addition to the success in the UK we are impressed by the strong demand coming from international customers, a testament to the brand’s global relevance and appeal. Clare is a fantastic leader and we are thrilled to partner with her and the ME+EM team.”
Simon Cope-Thompson, Managing Director at Arrowpoint Advisory, concluded: “We are delighted to have been able to help Clare and the team complete the deal with Highland Europe. Given Highland’s track record and expertise we are confident they will be an excellent partner for the next stage of ME+EM’s journey as it looks to build on its strong market position and grow internationally.”
Highland Europe will join existing investors including Sir Charles Dunstone CVO, the executive chairman of TalkTalk, and Venrex Investment Management, which was an early backer of British fintech and decacorn Revolut, makeup brand Charlotte Tilbury, Not on the High Street and fashion shopping app Lyst.