Parade, the disruptive direct-to-consumer intimates brand, has been sold to Ariela & Associates International, the largest women-owned intimates company in the U.S.
As a division of AAi, Parade will maintain its identity and creative vision while leveraging AAi’s best-in-class sourcing, design and forecasting capabilities to scale in the U.S. and globally.
Since launching in 2019, Parade has established itself as a popular Gen Z and Millennial brand and trailblazer in the intimate apparel industry.
Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but last year, Cami Téllez, the brand’s founder and chief executive officer, told WWD that it had reached a $200 million valuation thanks to its latest round of funding.
“I’m really excited that now, after three years in the industry, we’re kind of coming to a point where Parade has become really ubiquitous; we’re celebrating one percent of the category; we’re celebrate a new [fund]raise that values Parade at $200 million. This was an incredibly difficult category to break into,” but Téllez added, “We built a really powerful foundation for growing the business on,” she said at the time. Téllez was also on WWD x FN x Beauty Inc’s 50 Women in Power list for 2022.
Parade, which is based in New York and has 50 employees, has set new standards for inclusivity, body positivity and self-expression. The digitally native brand’s use of sustainably sourced materials and trend setting designs have quickly gained a loyal customer base of young women who seek more from their intimate wear, not just in terms of style, but also in terms of values. Parade’s wide range of products cater to all body types.
“We admire the extraordinary impact Parade has had in such a short time and are thrilled to bring a brand that shares our values of authenticity, inclusivity and sustainability to the AAi portfolio,” said Ariela Esquenazi, chief executive officer and president of Ariela & Associates International. “Parade’s commitment to inclusive fast fashion which doesn’t compromise on its sustainable mission aligns seamlessly with our core principles and we believe that this union will allow us to create powerful synergies.”
Parade will join AAi’s portfolio, which includes plus-size lingerie brand Curvy Couture, which it acquired in 2019, affordable intimates brand Smart & Sexy, and Fruit of the Loom, where AAi has held the master license in the bra category for 20 years.
Ariela & Associates grew inclusive lingerie brand Curvy Couture business four times since acquiring the brand in late 2019. AAi, in business for over 25 years and privately held, sells over 60 million garments a year under their existing brands.
In February, when Parade launched underwire bras, Téllez told WWD, “Listen, I think every category we have entered, we’ve won. The ultimate goal for Parade is to be the leading underwear brand for all people. We’ve established a cult-like following and sold over 6 million pairs of underwear. The next phase for us is ubiquity and expanding where you can find Parade and expanding across categories and geographies.”
Last month, Parade collaborated with Ganni, the Copenhagen-based fashion brand. The line leveraged Ganni prints and offered bright colors such as signature leopard and floral patterns across bralettes, briefs, a thong and a catsuit. The collaboration was co-created by Téllez and Ganni’s creative director Ditte Reffstrup. The pairing was designed to celebrate diversity and empower individual to express their unique identities.
In addition to its d-t-c business, Parade has been busy courting the Gen Z customer within brick and mortar stores as well. Last year, it hooked up with Urban Outfitters with an 18-piece collection including bras and underwear in an array of prints, colors and sustainable fabrics. Four styles were exclusive to Urban Outfitters. In March, Parade unveiled its wireless bras and underwear at over 380 Target stores nationwide and on Target.com. In addition, Parade had a pop-up store in SoHo in New York City in 2021.