Could Kim K become the next shoe guru a’la Jessica Simpson? Get ready for a major ShoeDazzle expansion thanks to this new venture!
When it comes to selling affordable accessories, no one has the market cornered quite like Jessica Simpson, but it looks like there’s another star who seems to have found her niche, at least in the digital arena. When most people think of Kim Kardashian I’m sure her reality show, famous figure, and even her fragrances come to mind — but she’s also behind ShoeDazzle.com, the accessible site with over 3 million subscribers that offers shoppers cute shoes and accessories for a mere $39.95. WWD announced today that the affordable shoe site run by Kim and her business partner, Brian Lee, is planning a major expansion thanks to a $40 million investment from venture captial firm Andreessen Horowitz.
Lee, chief executive officer and co-founder of ShoeDazzle, said the funding will lead to major expansion — both internationally and into new categories. “We are launching in the U. K. in the next couple of months,” he told WWD, adding that plans to reach Asia by the end of the year and South America after that are also in the works.
While Andreessen Horowitz has also invested in Facebook, Foursquare, Groupon, Skype and Twitter, John O’Farrell, general partner at the firm said, “ShoeDazzle is the first vertical e-commerce business we’ve invested in.” So what brought on the deal? Apparently the firm was attracted by the way ShoeDazzle uses social media and its subscription model — which is actually a first for the Web and guarantees regular income every month.
So, what does this all mean? Well, you can expect to see a whole lot more from ShoeDazzle (more shoes, handbags, jewelry, and celebrity collaborations) for one, while Kim K continues to expand her ever-growing empire.