Inside the Industry

Rent the Runway Inc. announced it has filed for an initial public offering and is hoping the return of events will draw business back in. The fashion-rental company listed the size of the offering as $100 million, a placeholder that will change when the terms are set. Despite struggling during the pandemic, seeing its valuation dip to $750 million after being valued at $1 billion and reporting a nearly 39 percent revenue drop last year, the company saw an uptick in subscribers over the first six months of 2021. The company plans to list on the Nasdaq with the ticker symbol “RENT.”

MycoWorks announced that Ian Bickley has joined the company as a strategic adviser. Bickley brings over 25 years of fashion and luxury-market experience and leadership and previously was president of global business development for all Tapestry brands, which include Coach, Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman. The news comes on the heels of the company announcing that former Hermès CEO Patrick Thomas had joined the board of directors in July. MycoWorks developed and owns Fine Mycelium, the world’s only proprietary biotechnology that harnesses mycelium to grow a made-to-order natural material to develop a so-called “mushroom leather.” The technology works to replace traditional leather using mycelium, the vegetable part of the fungus.

A $4.25 million federal grant has led to the creation and expansion of an Industrial Sewing Apprentice Program. The need for a sewing apprenticeship became apparent after the pandemic caused problems in fashion-industry supply chains and created an increase in demand for U.S.-made products. The program was launched through the Innovation Grant from the state of Idaho. The first pre-apprenticeship group was taught in May 2021 by Voxn, a Boise-based brand behind the program and apprenticeship, and the International Rescue Committee. The preprogram began as an eight-week course but quickly grew to a 12-week program. The apprenticeship is expected to undergo a massive expansion with the help of the federal grant.

A number of trade associations in the retail, footwear and apparel space expressed disappointment over U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Katherine Tai’s announcement to keep existing tariffs in place. American Apparel & Footwear Association President and CEO Steve Lamar previously sent a letter to Tai requesting relief from the tariffs left over from the Trump administration’s trade war, claiming the tariffs are directly threatening businesses that are facing shipping disruption. “At a time when the industry is struggling with an unprecedented supply-chain crisis due to our crumbling infrastructure, economic fallout from a damaging pandemic and unprecedented freight costs, it is distressing that the administration has chosen to continue to subject U.S. companies to these damaging taxes,” Lamar said.