Alegria has had success in acquiring smaller, underperforming fashion labels with sales of $ 20 million to $ 30 million

by | Oct 28, 2021 | Golf Apparel

Loudmouth, a golf apparel brand, is the newest addition to Alegria’s portfolio.

Courtesy Alegria

Andrew Seibert buys broken companies and fixes them.

His newly renamed company Alegria, which means luck in Greek and Spanish, started with Roller Rabbit, an Indian block-print based brand founded by Roberta Freymann whose only fashionable qualification was her mother being a muse to the late French designer Jacques. was father

“The brand has an amazing ethos,” says Seibert, who tacitly bought the business two years ago with two partners and, as Roller Rabbit’s CEO, took over the day-to-day operations of women’s clothing, pajamas for men, women and children and an extensive house collection.

“We’ve been working on fixing and updating Roller Rabbit, and we’ve done a really good job of turning it from a product brand to a lifestyle brand,” Seibert said recently. “We crushed it during the pandemic because people were home wearing loungewear. Roller Rabbit represents a spirit that people aspire to. It is a very visible and easily identifiable product. ”

Roller Rabbit grew 20% in 2017 with support from Alegria in its first year of new ownership. Seibert and his team helped stabilize Roller Rabbit’s bottom line to break even. Prior to the partnership, the brand had annual sales of $ 20 million, an estimated EBITDA margin of -30%, and a seven-digit loss. Roller Rabbit is up about 140% from the start of the year through 2020. The brand is aiming to increase sales by 2 to 2.5 times with an EBITDA margin of 10%, said Seibert.

The Alegria team decided to acquire more promising but dysfunctional brands that had annual sales of about $ 50 million or less with a sweet spot of $ 20 million to $ 30 million, an area dominated by venture capital and M&A Experts are often overlooked.

Alegria, whose mission is to help fashion and lifestyle brands reach their full potential, has expanded its portfolio. The company acquired 18 East and ALLCAPS Studio, two streetwear labels for men.

Eighteen East, a streetwear brand acquired from Alegria.

Courtesy Alegria

“We have a men’s clothing brand that we spun off in mid-2019, called 18East,” said Seibert. “GQ called it the coolest place in New You City. The brand was up 200% last year and over 200% this year. In the end, we took over the sister brand ALLCAPS. The designer is a kid named Saeed Ferguson. He has ideas but doesn’t know how to implement them.

“We like to support great people,” added Seibert. “To a certain extent, it takes companies and turns them into brands.”

Alegria helps ALL CAPS STUDIO evolve from an art project to a brand by leveraging its production and merchandising skills. Since the beginning of the partnership two years ago, Alegria has maintained the constancy of the streetwear brand and scaled it at the same time.

Alegria is a value-added offer, ”said Seibert. “We don’t do financial engineering. We don’t go in there and manipulate the balance sheet to make the company look more successful. We say, ‘How do we build a better company?’

The newest member of the Alegria stable is Loudmouth. “It’s a great band that needed to be updated, but it was terrible company,” said Seibert. “Roller Rabbit was the same. Then you have good companies that don’t have much of a brand. We did a good job adding value and supporting instead of trying to find the cheap flip. We are not a fund either, we are private. We have common back office skills and share the e-commerce skills of our production partners.

“I wouldn’t understand how to take a brand apart,” Seibert continues when asked about the business model of companies like the American Brands Group at the time, which reduced real estate to their logos for licensing purposes. “I see the model, but I disagree,” he said. “I think time will tell if it’s successful. We want to build, we want to grow and we want to have fun. We’re not trying to cut it short or whore it. “

Eighteen East is one of two streetwear brands in the Alegria stable.

Saeed Ferguson

While the Alegria brands don’t seem to have much in common, Seibert said the most important tenet is the engagement of their respective audience.

“Loudmouth, golf apparel]has been around for about 20 years,” said Seibert. “It started in the 1970s when players like Johnny Mille became friends with Bob Hope and hung out in Palm Springs, California. There are those old pictures of Sinatra in Palm Springs, and it really was that fun time for sport and a time “to express yourself.”

That changed in the ’90s and Aughts, when golf was recognized by American companies and players like Tiger Woods received rich support.

“Loudmouth was founded by Scott Woodward, aka Woody, an old hippie,” said Seibert. “He grew up in Northern California and wanted these big, fun pants. Back then he was a graphic designer. He found that if he could sell eight pairs of pants a day he would make more money than his job as a graphic designer. ”

Woodward unconsciously defined the Loudmoth spirit as “that bon vivant, that guy who wants to stand out,” said Seibert. “I don’t think he understood that from a brand perspective, but he understood why it appeals to him. He didn’t know how to quantify or qualify what I’m doing. “

Seibert said Loudmouth fans collect the brightly colored pants, and some have 200 or more pairs with different crazy patterns. “Loudmouth actually has a subscription service,” he said. “People love it. They need to understand that the brand gives them some freedom. When you’re wearing Loudmouth and in a bar, people want to come up to you and talk to you. They are jealous that you have this freedom. “

Alegria is building a team from defectors from some large and well-known brands. “People are excited about this opportunity and the types of brands we’re focusing on. They are drawn to the culture we are building. We’ve built a great team over the past three or four years, ”Seibert said, noting that Alegria has been hired by Saint Laurent, Anthropologie, and Lululemon.

Seibert said the company changed its name to Alegria to create a marketable entity for acquiring and building brands and attracting top talent looking for upward mobility.

“This is an extremely great example, but the easiest way I can think of is like an LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton,” said Seibert. “We have common back office functions and the possibility to share our production partners and our e-commerce skills. We can go straight to a company that is in trouble and help them get back on their feet. “

Seibert said the difference between Alegria and other investment firms is that the company puts its skin on brands that are traditionally smaller than larger funding arms would normally invest, and the company brings its expertise to the game.

“There is a very underserved segment of the business market,” said Seibert. “That is my background. Before I bought Roller Rabbit, I wrote checks for $ 100 million and worked on labels like Alice & Olivia. We really run the brand and don’t just write a check. “