Contemporary British womenswear brand Hush has taken its first outside investment, since it was founded in 2003, from retail investor True.
The business was founded by Mandy Watkins and is now run in partnership with her husband Rupert Youngman. It began life as an online-only operation and now has concessions in branches of John Lewis nationwide and has also staged pop-up stores around the country.
Having started out selling loungewear, it has branched out to become a fully fledged ready to wear and lifestyle brand with a modern, laidback aesthetic that has proved a hit with British women. It has grown to sales of more than £50m having quadrupled in size in the past four years.
The investment from True, which also backs ethical childrenswear brand Frugi among others, has come from “a strong, existing relationship” with Hush. True intends to work with Watkins and Youngman to expand the brand both domestically and internationally.
Matt Truman, Co-Founder and CEO, True said: “At True, we invest in businesses that are at the forefront of the consumer behavioural shift. We have spent several years building a brilliant relationship with the Hush team and we are delighted to be partnering with them for this next stage of growth. The business is ideally positioned to grow its share of both the UK and international clothing markets due to its agile, digital-first business model, loyal customer base and relevant, contemporary product range.
“We think highly profitable, predominantly direct to consumer brands such as hush and other businesses in our portfolio are the ones that will emerge in best shape from this current crisis – and completing the transaction now demonstrates that we’re very much open for business and excited about the opportunity ahead of us.”
Wakins and Youngman added: “We’re delighted to be partnering with True. We’ve known Matt and the team at True for a number of years and we’re confident they share the passion we have for our customers, our team and our brand. We’re also excited to build a relationship with an investor who’s in a unique position to help us strengthen all aspects of our business – and we look forward to delivering on the huge opportunity that remains ahead of us.”