British womenswear brand The Fold announces new investors

The Fold, the contemporary fashion brand aimed at modern, professional women, has announced new investment from growth capital firm, Active Private Equity.

Active will take a significant stake in the business alongside The Fold founder, Polly McMaster, who founded the business in 2011 after spotting a gap in the market for clothing aimed at professional women, at the quality/premium end of the market.

Known for beautifully tailored dresses and a clever mix and match separates range, The Fold has an omni-channel selling strategy, with customers shopping directly online, via catalogues and from a showroom located in the City of London. The brand hosts networking events, such as breakfast seminars and other career mentoring events, as part of its positioning as a content rich, lifestyle brand for professional women. Active will help to accelerate the growth of The Fold, using its experience in brand development, omni-channel distribution and its track record of managing growth both domestically and internationally.

Also investing in the businesses is entrepreneur and investor Richard Sims– who brings directly relevant womenswear experience most recently as a founder investor at Mint Velvet. Sims will be appointed to the board as chairman.

McMaster, whose brand has attracted high profile fans including the Duchess of Cambridge, Samantha Cameron, said: “The Fold is built on the idea that we truly understand the needs of our customers – I founded the business based on my own experience as a professional working woman. This understanding is expressed through the quality of our designs, and also underpins the way we engage with customers through initiatives such as our breakfast seminars. With Active, we have found the perfect likeminded partner to realise our potential in becoming the leading lifestyle brand for the professional woman.”

Nick Evans, from Active said: “At Active we are always looking to invest in talented and ambitious entrepreneurs like Polly. We like brands that standout, that innovate in product and proposition and that are re-defining their consumer sectors. We have been extremely impressed by Polly’s sharp focus on her customer and community, and The Fold’s rapid progress to date. She is meeting a clear demand with a modern brand, modern product and content and a very modern business model. We look forward to working alongside Polly and using our experience of working with entrepreneurs and fostering brands to take The Fold to the next stage in its development.”