For the past ten to fifteen years, a crop of newer brands have found themselves gobbling up marketshare via direct to consumer channels. Some offer a better value proposition on an existing product category, like Warby Parker and Casper, while others offer a reinvention of the category itself, like Outdoor Voices and Glossier.
TomboyX, which just closed a $4.3 million Series A round, seems to be doing a great job of both.
The company, founded by Fran Dunaway and Naomi Gonzalez, offers gender-neutral underwear for an affordable price to folks who often aren’t represented in mainstream media. The company says that it serves a diverse customer base, including plus-sized, gender non-conforming and specialized tradespeople.
The funding, which was led through funds advised by TAU in conjunction with Redbadge Pacific and SBI Investments Korea, brings total funding to $6.3 million. As part of the deal, LVMH Group former Chairman of North America Pauline Brown has joined TomboyX’s Board of Directors.
TomboyX started in 2013 after cofounder Fran Dunaway found herself struggling to find a Robert Graham-style button down shirt. After a brief run making fun, hip dress shirts, the founders realized that the brand name itself, TomboyX, was really resonating with customers. However, dress shirts didn’t exactly work as a hero product.
The company shifted to underwear in September of 2014, and that’s when things started to take off. TomboyX sold out of its boxer briefs for women in under two weeks, and tripled revenue over the course of the next six months.
“At that point, we realized that we should evaluate the possibility that we’re an underwear company,” said Dunaway.
At the end of 2015, the company revamped the website and removed everything from the website that wasn’t underwear. Before that, TomboyX offered belts, buckles, shoes, and was centered more around a look than a specific product.
Since, the company has stayed laser focused on underwear, swimwear and loungewear, and has seen 2000 percent growth over the last three years running. Dunaway says that TomboyX is the only apparel company who sells every item in XS all the way up to 4XL.
With the new funding, the focus turns to ramping up marketing and awareness, building out the team, and adding more efficiency to the production process.