Lingerie brand Bluebella secures £1m through crowdfunding for US expansion

Alys Key
Follow Alys
Brand ambassador Tigerlily Taylor in Bluebella pyjamas (Source: Alisa Connan/Bluebella)

The British brand which created the official Fifty Shades of Grey lingerie has raised £1m – double its original target – in a crowdfunding campaign.

Bluebella turned to its fans for help funding an expansion to the US, and reached a grand total of £1,088,700 by the time the campaign ended.

Founder Emily Bendell said: “As a consumer brand we felt that crowdfunding would add a brilliant marketing element to the fundraising campaign - not only creating a buzz but also an ongoing army of brand ambassadors.”

In the UK, Bluebella is stocked by Asos, House of Fraser, and Urban Outfitters. The brand has already secured deals with Nordstrom and Bare Necessities to stock their products in America. They plan to ramp up advertising next year in order to sell 10,000 bras a month stateside.

Bendell was undeterred by the economic instability that might come along with a Trump presidency, saying that, “he is pro-business and decreased taxes should boost consumer spending – and there has never been a better time for an empowered and forward-thinking brand like Bluebella to hit the US.”

Oxford graduate Bendell left her job to start Bluebella when she was just 24. Since then the company has won a string of awards including Boudoir Brand of the Year at the 2015 UK Lingerie Awards. Sales are already expected to hit £1.7m this year, growing to £4.7m next year thanks to the US expansion.