This Water-Friendly Shoe Brand Just Raised $1.25 Million

Sea Star Beachwear has raised $1.25 million in a seed funding round.

The water-friendly shoe brand announced today that the investment will go toward accelerating brand growth through increased marketing efforts, product development, office expansion and employee hiring. It also plans to use the financing to tap into international markets.

“We’re thrilled to take Sea Star Beachwear to the next level with our inaugural round of financing,” founder and CEO Libby Fitzgerald said in a statement. “Our goal is to accelerate growth, expand distribution, increase [the] customer acquisition base, continue product development and evolve with our consumer needs as the ultimate fashion-meets-function water shoe and lifestyle brand.”

Fitzgerald, a former PR exec for Hermès, launched the summer-friendly label in 2015. “I was looking for a multifunctional shoe that would protect my feet in the water but was also attractive and durable enough to wear to town, biking and boating,” she said.

The espadrille-style shoes, which retail for under $100, are created with a quick-drying neoprene upper as well as nonskid and non-marking deck soles, allowing them to dry in 15 minutes under the sun. The New York-based company now holds four design patents for three water shoe styles and a neoprene bag.

Sea Star Beachwear is currently available from more than 100 wholesalers across the United States and more than 25 countries in the world. Among its retail partners are Zappos, Nordstrom and Everything But Water.

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