As Seen in Fast Company
by Elizabeth Segran
For a decade, DTC startups like Warby Parker and Everlane created a playbook for how to launch a successful brand. A new generation of founders wants to chart a different path.
When fashion industry veteran Marina Larroudé decided to launch her eponymous line of heels in 2020, she made the deliberate decision not to follow in the footsteps of fast-growing direct-to-consumer shoe startups like M.Gemi, Tamara Mellon, and Rothy’s.
She wasn’t interested in copying their business model of selling exclusively through their own websites and stores; Larroudé was eager to see her shoes on the shelves of Nordstrom and Anthropologie. And she had no desire to fuel her growth with hundreds of millions of dollars in capital like her DTC counterparts. But despite this, Larroudé has sold 100,000 pairs of shoes in its first two years in business and hopes to hit $100 million in sales by 2025. “I was more interested in being small and profitable than large and burning through cash,” she says. “This business has our name on it. We’re in it for the long haul.”