Hoping to glean insights from the beauty space, Allbirds has named founder and CEO of Glossier, Emily Weiss, to its board of directors, along with Mandy Fields, the chief financial officer of e.l.f. Beauty, the company confirmed to Retail Dive on Monday.
Allbirds is not looking to launch beauty, a spokesperson said, but is hoping to learn about brand loyalty and consumer relationships. The brand noted that both Weiss and Fields bring expertise in "growing successful standout consumer brands in saturated spaces."
The two join six other board members, including Allbirds' two co-founders and co-CEOs; Warby Parker CEO and co-founder Neil Blumenthal; Old Navy President and CEO Nancy Green; Maveron co-founder Dan Levitan; and Altamont Capital Partners' senior advisor Dick Boyce.
As DTC brands look to scale, many are bringing in retail veterans to guide strategy and strengthen weak spots. Allbirds is no different, and its recent board appointments are aimed at helping guide the company through its "next stage" of growth.
"With these two additional board appointments, Allbirds will gain the invaluable learnings Weiss and Fields bring with them from the beauty space's unique knowledge of brand loyalty and consumer relationships," the company said via email. "Both bring world-class expertise from leading consumer brands; Emily has created a devoted community in Glossier, while Mandy is a veteran of multinational brands, focused on sustainable growth and financial discipline."
That last point is a sticking point for many DTC brands, which have struggled with achieving profitable growth thanks to high marketing costs and a grow-at-all-costs mindset from some investors. Allbirds has been one of the more frequently cited success stories of the DTC space, though the company has not gone public yet, so insights into its financials are scarce. Warby Parker and Glossier, too, have been lauded as successful brands in the space, and their presence on Allbirds' board could help the company make informed decisions on scaling sustainably that its peers have followed.
The company in September raised $100 million in Series E funding to launch into new product categories and fuel its brick-and-mortar expansion plans. That raise alone was worth as much as all of its previous funding rounds combined, bringing the grand total to $200 million raised since its founding in 2016.
A month later the company expanded into apparel with a collection of items ranging from puffer jackets to wool cardigans and T-shirts. All of it has been done with a focused eye on sustainability, one of the core tenets the brand is built on. And while the company has no plans to expand into the beauty space at this time, Allbirds hopes to learn something about building loyalty with customers through the two beauty companies. Fellow DTC darling Glossier is also particularly well known for the loyal following of its experiential retail-focused stores.
"Allbirds is a true disrupter in the industry," Fields said. "I have long been impressed with the brand's ability to successfully balance purpose with profit and to continue this mission while driving innovation."
Weiss, too, highlighted the company's differentiated products, and the potential to build a "category-defining business."