Perfect Moment Ltd. has seized the moment.
The British-based luxury outdoor clothing manufacturer has begun trading on the New York Stock Exchange Thursday morning. The initial public offering’s gross proceeds of approximately $8 million, before deducting underwriting discounts and offering expenses, will be used toward bolstering the U.S. team, opening freestanding stores around the globe, for sales and marketing activities, and to further develop winter and summer products.
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The company, which will be listed under PMNT, is offering 1.3 million shares of its common stock to the public at a public offering price of $6 per share. In addition, Perfect Moment has granted the underwriters a 45-day option to purchase up to an additional 200,100 shares of common stock to cover over-allotments, if any, at the public offering price, less the underwriting discount.
The IPO was underwritten by ThinkEquity and Laidlaw & Co. (UK) Ltd.
In a Zoom interview last month, Jane Gottschalk, chief creative officer and director, and Mark Buckley, chief executive officer, who were visiting New York, discussed how they plan to use the proceeds from the IPO and what prompted them to take the company public in the U.S., and not London or Hong Kong.
Buckley said the company evaluated staying private or going public and came to realization that going public keeps it independent “and gives the opportunity to new investors to share the potential success and also allows us to bring extra governance along with talent to our independent board of directors.
“Many lifestyle brands have tried to stay private for as long as possible, and we certainly could have taken that road. But that has not worked well for many brands in recent years. Our path is different because we are a brand that leads, not follows. We want the very people who love our brand to have the opportunity to be a part of our growth, to own a small piece of the company,” said Buckley.
Plus, he added, “It helps us attract talent.”
An SEC filing Jan. 26 noted that the principal purposes of Perfect Moment’s offering are to increase the company’s capitalization and financial flexibility, visibility in the marketplace and to create a public market for its common stock.
The Perfect Moment brand was created in Chamonix, France, in 1984 by Thierry Donard, a professional skier and extreme sports filmmaker. In 2012, he assigned the trademark to a joint venture company which was 50 percent owned by Max (Perfect Moment’s chairman of the board and director) and Jane Gottschalk. Under Gottschalk’s creative direction, Perfect Moment was injected with a new style focus, which reignited the spirit of the heritage brand. She committed to improving fit, performance and using best-in-class functional materials.
The couple took their share up to 100 percent by 2018, and expanded the product from skiwear and après-ski clothing to swimwear and activewear. In 2021, Perfect Moment raised $6 million via a bridge loan as it prepared for its IPO. Perfect Moment brought in Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Nick Jonas as investors in 2022.
“We’ve got a lot of organic traction here, we’re seeing tons of growth, and we want to harness that,” said Gottschalk. She said one of the first things the company will do is build a team, distribution and manpower in the U.S. There are plans to appoint a U.S. general manager, and the company already have a U.S.-based chief financial officer. Overall, Gottschalk said the company has about 35 employees and called the team “small and lean.”
Perfect Moment has experienced significant growth over recent years, with a 69 percent increase in revenue from $9.7 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2021, to $16.5 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2022. For the fiscal year ended March 31, Perfect Moment generated revenues of $23.4 million, a year-over-year increase of 43 percent. However, the company has shown recurring losses of $10.3 million and about $12.2 million for fiscal 2023 and 2022, respectively.
But Buckley said the company is not very far from profitability.
Gottschalk said the U.S. business has grown organically over the last few years. “Americans aren’t afraid of color. We’re a great colorful vibrant brand and that particularly helps on social media. We’ve become the most followed skiwear brand on social media. That has been part of the vibrancy of the brand, particularly in the States,” she said.
Perfect Moment looks to continue tapping into the growing luxury skiwear market, which was valued at $1.6 billion in 2022 and is expected to expand, according to published statistics cited in the SEC filing.
During the IPO process, the Perfect Moment team met with more than 200 investors, and allowed the brand to get its story out there. The word is out already among the celebrity set, with famous faces such as Kate Middleton, Bradley Cooper, Reese Witherspoon and Emma Roberts seen sporting the brand, in addition to Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Nick Jonas.
Chopra Jonas, speaking to WWD in a separate interview last month, said the couple was drawn to the brand because they are avid skiers. “We love the slopes. We love the mountains. We go often, we had a home in Mammoth [Calif]. We were just naturally wearing Perfect Moment. Skiers who know what’s up will wear Perfect Moment. By coincidence I was filming in London and we met Jane and Max [Gottschalk]. We just loved the story of the brand.”
She has also invested in Bumble, Olipop and HumanCo, and said she likes brands that bring communities together.
“The philosophy behind Perfect Moment is actively looking in your life to create incredible moments whether that be with your family, friends, community. I love the ethos of the brand because that’s naturally what Nick and my life is like,” she said.
Chopra Jonas said she’s involved in the company’s expansion plan and is excited about entering categories and further developing the outerwear assortment. “Perfect Moment has the ability to be a lifestyle brand because you can create perfect moments in any part of your life. We see the potential of the brand in being able to expand in multiple categories as well,” she said.
She and Nick Jonas plan to continue to own their 377,428 shares, which adds up to about 2.5 percent of the business, and “really come in” when it comes to creative, marketing and “making sure the awareness of the brand is prevalent to people,” Chopra Jonas said.
Buckley said the company wanted to go public in the U.S. rather than London or Hong Kong because it generates 44 percent of their revenues in the U.S. Major global retail partners include Gorsuch, Net-a-porter, Harrods, Selfridge’s, Saks, Revolve, Fwrd, Shopbop, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom.
Buckley said the company also plans to use the funds to open freestanding stores around the globe, potentially starting with a seasonal pop-up, focusing on New York and then London, and potentially at ski resorts.
As the company grows, it looks to strengthen the product assortment for both the fall and spring seasons, with plans to develop swimwear, activewear and lifestyle products.
“For me, the focus is still having ski as the heartbeat, but shouldering it with outerwear and categories such as après. Après is a huge market that we’d like to tap into. Our knitwear sells very well, and we’re seeing a lot of uptick there,” said Gottschalk. “The opportunity is really taking our customer off the slopes and back to the chalet, out in the evening, and then ultimately back home,” so travel clothing is important as well, she said. “The name Perfect Moment transcends into lifestyle and into community. It enables us to take her from the slopes back home. That’s the five-year plan going forward,” she said.
The company has been focused on strengthening its relationships with its retail partners through broader offerings, exclusive products and shop-in-shop formats, dedicated spaces within another company’s retail store on a short-term basis. Perfect Moment has had shops-in-shop at Harrods and Selfridges in London and Fred Segal in Los Angeles.
Currently, 80 percent of Perfect Moment’s business is women’s, and 20 percent is men’s and kids’, though the brand started as an extreme sports brand geared toward men. “We had the opportunity to make it more female-fashion focused,” said Gottschalk. But the company is seeing a 100 percent uptick in men’s without really focusing on it, she said, though there are plans to add fashion into technical skiwear for men. “We are very technical at our heart and we use the best Japanese technical fabrics,” she said.
Perfect Moment’s female customer is “young, fashionable and cool, a woman who’s an early adopter and driver,” she said.
Currently, the business is strong, Buckley said. Gottschalk said that two weeks ago,, the brand had its biggest-ever sales week. “I think we’re having our biggest sales day today,” she said, during the interview.
While the U.S. region accounts for 44 percent of the business, Europe (Germany, Austria, Switzerland, etc.) is 30 percent, and the U.K. is 20 percent. Countries such as Australia and Japan make up the balance. Gottschalk also sees an opportunity to expand into China. There are plans to open third-party distribution centers in key markets, including in the U.S.
She said Perfect Moment launched an outerwear collaboration Feb. 1 with Marfa Stance to create a four-piece buildable and adaptable capsule collection comprising two jacket styles and two accessories, a hood, and a shearling collar.
Buckley noted that roughly half of the company’s revenue is digital.
After the public offering, Jane and Max Gottschalk will own 24.4 percent of the business.
Both Buckley and Gottschalk acknowledged the fortunate timing of going public during the height of ski season.
“This time of year when the ski market is in full swing, it seems like a perfect moment to do it,” said Buckley.
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