Victoria’s Secret takes a minority stake in a swimwear brand founded by women

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Victoria’s Secret & Co. dives deeper into the growing swimwear category.

The company acquired a minority stake in Frankies Bikinis, a women-founded and women-led digital beachwear and lifestyle brand based in Venice, California. The $18 million investment is unlikely to have a significant impact on Victoria’s Secret first quarter outlook.

Frankies Bikinis was founded in 2012 by then 17-year-old Francesca Aiello and her mother, Mimi Aiello. The brand is known for its inclusive, fashion-forward aesthetic and laid-back Malibu vibe. In has evolved into a beach lifestyle brand, with expanding product offerings that include ready-to-wear clothing, footwear, beauty products and even men’s swimwear.

Victoria’s Secret eliminated swimwear from its offerings in the spring of 2016. It returned to the online category in 2019 and expanded it to stores in 2021. According to industry estimates, the global swimwear market will grow to around $21.4 billion by 2025, up from over $16 billion in 2020.

“We are thrilled to partner with Francesca and the team at Frankies Bikinis,” said Victoria’s Secret CEO Martin Waters. “She has created an ambitious beachwear brand and a trend leader in the swimwear category, with the ability to grow and expand into new categories and attract new customers in the direct-to-consumer channel Our investment in Frankies Bikinis continues our efforts to expand partnerships with culturally relevant brands founded by women entrepreneurs.

Kegler Brown Hill & Ritter acted as legal advisors to Victoria’s Secret. Sage Group served as exclusive financial advisor to Frankies Bikinis and Ritholz Levy Fields served as legal advisor.

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