Autumn Adeigbo has new investors — including Cameron Diaz, Mila Kunis and Gabrielle Union — bringing the designer’s total funding for her brand to around $4.2 million.
The designer and founder of the women’s ready-to-wear, accessories and footwear brand first met Diaz and Kunis at a retreat hosted by Gwyneth Paltrow and Brit Morin. There, the trio bonded over common interests, such as entrepreneurship and technology, before Adeigbo recruited the actresses as investors.
“If you had told me years ago that Cameron and I would become friends let alone business allies, I would never have believed you,” Adeigbo said. “I’ve been a fan of Cameron for so long and her light transcends what America has fallen in love with onscreen. I’m so excited for her to shine her kindness, humor, beauty and intelligence in my own way.
“I’ve been a Mila fan for so long,” the designer added. “Words don’t describe how much I admire him. She’s such a pillar of cultural excellence, activism and entrepreneurship, not to mention the impact she’s had in Hollywood. I couldn’t be happier that Mila found my business in line with her passions for fashion and entrepreneurship.
Turns out the admiration is mutual. Diaz said Adeigbo’s presence lights up any room.
“And her designs, no matter who wears them, do the same thing,” the actress and wine entrepreneur said. “He’s a star and his ability to shine his light through his designs is what makes them so desirable. I’m thrilled and honored to be a part of his journey.
Kunis added, “When we met, Autumn and I had an immediate connection. I saw the fire in her eyes as the determination I recognize in successful entrepreneurs that tells me they won’t give up. the difficult road to startup Combined with Autumn’s talent and early market response to the brand’s product, investing was a no-brainer for me.
Actress Gabrielle Union joined the list of investors later, after discovering the brand on her own.
“Gabrielle has been incredibly supportive of me and my dreams; she is very outspoken with her support for black women and female entrepreneurship,” Adeigbo said. “His cultural expertise extends beyond his deep impact in Hollywood to his business acumen.”
The designer, who is known for his eye-catching, brightly colored dresses and equally dazzling accessories, earned the first $1.3 million in 2020 from Stitch Fix founder and former CEO Katrina Lake; founder of venture capital firm Fuel Capital, Chris Howard, as well as general partner Leah Solivan, who is the founder and former CEO of TaskRabbit; Sonja Perkins, founder of angel investing group Broadway Angels, and female investing network Pipeline Angels.
The following year, Adeigbo secured nearly $3 million in additional funding, led by venture capital firm Offline Ventures co-founders Dave Morin and Brit Morin.
All this during a pandemic. In fact, while the whole world was shut down and retailers around the world were struggling with supply chain issues, Adeigbo was growing his business, convincing not only venture capitalists, but also retailers to invest in their brand. In addition to the e-commerce site, the brand is now available at Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Intermix, Nordstrom, Shopbop, Elyse Walker, Rent the Runway, Hampden Clothing and more.
There have also been category extensions. More recently, the Autumn Adeigbo brand has expanded to include shoes, bags and a home collection. Boots, berets, gloves and an expanded assortment of knitwear arrive in the fall in a collection inspired by “a Parsian house party,” Adeigbo said. (Look for lace-up leggings, hand-embroidered appliqués, lace, and lots of patterns including tiger stripes, flowers, and polka dots.)
Adeigbo was also invited to join the Council of Fashion Designers of America last fall. In April this year, Adeigbo received the “Fashion Designer on the Rise” award at the National Black Arts’ Fine Art + Fashion Awards, sponsored by Neiman Marcus. The following month, Tory Burch – one of Adeigbo’s mentors – asked the creator to speak in a Burch tribute video at the annual Parsons Benefit, alongside Anna Wintour and Proenza Schouler founder Lazaro Hernandez. and Jack McCollough. (Adeigbo was named a Tory Burch Fellow at the Tory Burch Foundation in 2019.)
Meanwhile, Adeigbo’s celebrity fan base continues to grow with Kelly Clarkson, Jessica Alba, Selma Blair, Zooey Deschanel, Kerry Washington, Lizzo, Mindy Kaling, Busy Philipps, Amanda Gorman, Kristen Bell, Katherine Schwarzenegger, Rocky Barnes, TikTok star Charli D’Amelio and others wearing her designs.
This story originally aired on WWD.