23 Sep 2011
Two London Business School graduates are seeking $1 million in external financing for their new fashion retail venture.
The Fold is aimed at stylishly attiring professional women in clothes that suit both the office and the wine bar.
Cheryl Mainland and Polly McMaster, who both graduated with Distinction from the School's MBA programme this summer, are looking for angel and seed venture capital backers for their line of clothing which is sold in London and will soon be launched in New York.
The pieces in the collection, which typically cost around £250, are designed and produced in London and New York.
"Women in the City want to be fashionable," Ms McMaster said. "If their male counterparts are wearing a suit made on Savile Row then the women should be on an equal par."
Ms Mainland added "We saw a gap in the market with women's work wear and took the opportunity of being in business school to create a successful venture. Currently there is limited inspiration or creative design in women's work wear. We want The Fold to change the way women view their work wear. We want them to love their work clothes as much as they love their favourite cocktail dress."
The pair met as students at the School and set up the business with the support of the entrepreneurship faculty.
"The support and mentorship we received through London Business School has been fantastic. The entrepreneurship faculty helped us create a strong business model and build our network amongst our customers and the industry. Entrepreneurship Summer School, in particular, was a great environment to test ideas and launch a venture with a strong commercial foundation," said Ms Mainland.
London Business School is committed to seeing more women in business and 31 percent of this year's MBA class is female.