A new fashion start-up launching in September has secured backing from some of the biggest names in angel investing on the East and West coasts. Edition01 has raised around $500,000 from David Tisch, Ken Lerer and Ron Conway’s SV Angel to build an e-commerce site focusing on capsule collections: limited edition runs of products by designers like Donna Karan, Calvin Klein and Narciso Rodriguez. Additional investors include Kal Vepuri, High Line Venture Partners, the Sagrera family, Sterling Equities, Joanne Wilson and Alex Zubillaga.
“Sites like Gilt have created a great business selling items with a limited time period. We are aiming to do a similar thing by having a very limited inventory,” says co-founder Rishi Khanna. “The idea to build a best in breed capsule sale site that leverages social commerce and online ordering.”
Traditionally, says co-founder Jessica Wilpon Kamel, who created Edition01 with co-founder Estefania Lacayo in October of 2010, high-end fashion designers have been afraid of the internet. “Even today many of them are going in the opposite direction, pulling their merchandise offline because they are afraid it will dilute their brand. We want to show that doesn’t have to be the case.”
The start-up had been looking to raise a little north of $1 million, but found an early revenue stream through a partnership with Salam International, which secured them a licensing deal for a sponsored pop-up store in high-end fashion mall in Doha, Quatar. The focus now is on making a big splash with the September debut and giving customers a high-end shopping experience online that matches up with the designer brands.
There is a burgeoning network, says Ms. Kamel, for fashion entrepreneurs to connect with venture capitalists who traditionally have focused on the web. Through Ben Lerer and friends at Gilt the team from Edition01 was able to take meetings with numerous New York investors and eventually secure a round from a very diverse group. While Betabeat doesn’t have an informed opinion on whether or not this start-up will succeed (we don’t know Donna Karen from Don King), the overlap of fashion and technology is certainly one strength that will help New York to compete with Silicon Valley in the coming decade.