Disruptive hosiery start-up Heist Studios and its invisible tights raises $2.6m

Currently available in 35 countries across the globe, the new funds will be used to increase recruitment and expand Heist's international footprint

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Heist Studios, a London-based luxury tights brand, has raised $2.6m in its latest funding round from a range of venture investors in the online fashion space.

The hosiery start-up was backed by the likes of Natalie Massenet, the founder of Net-a-Porter; the New York fund, 14W; the founders of Innocent; and Pembroke VCT, the fund behind the eponymous fashion brand, ALEXACHUNG.

Launched with the aim of turning tights from “a necessary evil into something you’d be truly excited to wear”, Heist tights are completely invisible underneath clothes.

With their only seam sewn at the base of the foot rather than at the tips of the toes, the tights have a thread count of 5,000, compared to the standard 500.

Launched in late 2015, the fashion start-up originally worked with a group of 67 women over 12 months, making 196 samples to create its 3D knitted design – which is heavily influenced from Italian sportswear.

Since launch, the business has sold over 100,000 pairs of tights from its UK base, and claims its growing at 25% month-on-month.

Currently available in 35 countries across the globe, the new funds will be used to increase recruitment and expand Heist’s international footprint.

According to Statista, the global underwear market in 2016 was £54bn, with research from Global Industry Analysts Inc. forecasting the global market for hosiery alone to exceed $27bn.

Toby Darbyshire, CEO of Heist, said:

“In underwear, there are a number of items that need modernising.

“We have started with tights but will in time seek to address other garments that have been long overlooked for an upgrade.

“Our long-term goal is to build an underwear brand for the modern woman and we’re really excited to bring the experience of industry icons like Natalie and the Innocent founders into the firm, alongside some of the best venture capitalists in the business.”

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