London-based Fashion Tech start-up, Lone Design Club, secures first round of funding with Fashion Technology Accelerator, Milan.
November 2018: Innovative London-based retail concept, Lone Design Club (LDC), and Milan-based Fashion Technology Accelerator (FTA) have joined forces to grow LDC and position it for global launch. Centre for Fashion Enterprise (CFE) facilitated the introduction giving LDC - who is currently on their Fash-Tech Pioneer programme - the opportunity to pitch to FTA CEO Giusy Cannone. The connection is the result of CFE’s commitment to supporting emerging businesses and enabling them to access their wider network in order to excel.
Disrupting traditional retail, LDC unites independent designers in hosting experience-led monthly concept stores and series of immersive experiences, with a slew of successful and ever-growing events across London over that past two years. They are translating their new immersive retail concept in seamless online and offline cohesion, traversing between their physical store and online platform with a strong omni-channel customer experience.
FTA is the perfect fit for LDC’s first funding round; As the leading accelerator for fashion technology startups, FTA fosters digital and technology innovation in fashion, luxury and retail. They are set to be a key driving force in LDC’s growth, particularly online as they develop their e-commerce site and optimise their online customer experience in the coming months.
After securing their initial funding, LDC are now poised for rapid growth, with sights to expand regionally, and globally with their first European event planned for Milan Fashion Week in February 2019, whilst solidifying their London presence with monthly concept stores and events.
LDC Founder and CEO, Rebecca Morter, started LDC in 2017 as a way to get her own emerging clothing label, REIN London, to market and build her direct consumer audience alongside like-minded brands. She says, “We are thrilled to be backed by FTA, which gives us ability to now build our London team and set our sights on international expansion starting with Milan early 2019. FTA’s incredible wealth of experience in the luxury fashion tech sphere will prove invaluable to grow our integrated online presence, as we lead the way in new retail.”
LDC Director Andrew Gaule who joined mid-2018, having previously helped global organisations drive innovative and strategic change adds, “We are delighted to have achieved the investment Lone Design Club needs with investment partners who can add a lot of expertise.”
“From supporting REIN London on one of our early stage programs to empowering LDC on the FashTech Pioneer, it has been a pleasure to watch Rebecca grow as an entrepreneur and respond to the changing fashion industry in such an innovative and collaborative way. I’m thrilled for team LDC to have not only secured their first round of funding, but also gain key access to fashion tech expertise via FTA. This is a great success story for our business support programs as well a testament to the power of supportive partnerships across Europe.” – Ishwari Thopte, Fashion Tech Project, CFE.
FTA CEO, Giusy Cannone, says of the partnership, “We are delighted to work with LDC. The team has deeply understood the need to provide a new meaning to the physical store by offering to the end customers an engaging and discovering experience. At the same time they offer emerging designers smart access to the market."
About Lone Design Club
Lone Design Club is the result of emerging fashion brands’ desire to actively take the reins of their growing businesses; by focusing on selling direct, building relationships and understanding their customers. Founder Rebecca Morter launched LDC in 2017 when she was running her own clothing label, REIN London, as a means to collaborate with like minded brands, maximising their united reach and building their own direct to consumer models. Identifying a gap in the market of the connection between independent brands seeking a platform to sell direct to customer and consumers wanting to shop independent transparent brands, LDC rapidly grew to hosting regular concept stores and events throughout London. In 2018 it now hosts monthly concept stores for two weeks at a time, alongside an immersive series of events and experiences. It is about short term maximum impact; A clear call to action for brands and consumers alike, with an overarching and continuous online presence. LDC create a retail platform with a mind to the future, and a global ambition.
About Fashion Technology Accelerator
Fashion Technology Accelerator is the international hub to support the digital transformation of the Fashion and Retail industry. We assist talented entrepreneurs to grow their fashion tech businesses, and established companies to stay relevant by understanding and adopting innovative solutions coming from startups. Our portfolio includes 15 startups, six of which are based outside Italy (USA, Israel, Hong Kong, Lithuania, United Kingdom). For further information, please check www.ftaccelerator.it
About CFE and the FTEF project
Centre for Fashion Enterprise (CFE) is London's pioneering fashion and fashtech business incubator, supported by London College of Fashion, UAL. The programme-based offer supports businesses across fashion, accessories, jewellery and fashion tech at different points in their journey. Tailored mentoring and strategic guidance helps them navigate the complexities of running a business.
The Fashion Technology Emerging Futures Project is instrumental to the new eco-system emerging in London that recognises the convergence of fashion and technology SMEs. Through its tailored support programmes, CFE builds confidence in these businesses, propelling them to adopt and innovate their business models, products, and services. In turn, new fashion and lifestyle products are grown and digital marketing and retail solutions are developed, boosting London’s high-value fashion and retail sector.
How CFE is supported
CFE and the FTEF project specifically, is part funded by European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) up until Summer 2019. CFE is also supported by London College of Fashion, UAL.
European Regional Development Fund
The project is receiving up to £4.8m of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.