“I remember the night before the launch, I was in bed crying, thinking, ‘What if no one buys anything?,’” Arielle Charnas told FN in May. The influencer was referring to her Something Navy Nordstrom debut, but those fears were far from reality.
Since that September 2018 launch, the Something Navy brand, which first started as a blog, has been on the uptick. So much so that Charnas has received a $10 million investment, funded in part by Silas Chou and his Vanterra Capital fund, according to a report today by Business of Fashion. Other investors include Harry’s and Warby Parker backer Box Group, M3 Ventures, Silas Capital, Third Kind Ventures and Rent the Runway co-founder Jennifer Fleiss — bringing Charnas’ brand valuation to close to $45 million, per BoF.
Charnas spoke on turning her Something Navy platform into its own contemporary lifestyle destination during FN’s cover shoot, and now, the plan is well underway.
With help from Matt Scanlan, co-founder and chief executive of the cashmere brand Naadam, she will embark on building Something Navy as an independent business as the Nordstrom licensing deal comes to an end in November, said BoF. And in addition to growing the team, the goal is to create a direct-to-consumer lifestyle brand focusing on apparel followed by accessories, home decor, childrenswear and beauty over the next few years. Brick-and-mortar is also top of mind as a future opportunity.
The entrepreneur, who has 1.2 million followers on Instagram, will also continue to bank on the platform to connect with consumers while scaling back on new brand partnerships to focus on expanding Something Navy.
“This is a media platform. There’s a website, Instagram and other verticals,” her brand director, Tara Foley, said in May. “Arielle doesn’t have to be the talent in those assets. We can’t use her for everything, so that’s why building the Something Navy channel is a priority.”
Charnas, who launched Something Navy as a fashion blog in 2009, has built a social media fan base that’s fiercely loyal and engaged. “What sets me apart is that a lot of these girls focus on beautiful images, the traveling, the extravagant trips, whereas I’m just at home hanging out in my apartment. It’s not that it’s more real; it’s just a different lifestyle,” she explained. However, she recognizes that Instagram’s relevance could fade over time. “I want to make sure our website offers everything we feel we offer on Instagram,” she said.