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The Cords & Co

Join the Corduroy Revolution!

The Cords & Co is the first global fashion brand dedicated to corduroy. A specialist brand with a digital approach and no direct competitors, we tap an iconic fabric which has come back around. We challenge the saturated denim market and present corduroy as the alternative. Our founders, Mikael Söderlindh and Viktor Tell, founded Happy Socks and have a record of successfully creating segments which do not yet exist. Since August 2017, we have established six stores and an ecommerce platform. We have sparked the corduroy revolution - seize the opportunity and invest in the world’s first corduroy brand.

Investor proposal

Investing in The Cords is an opportunity to be entrepreneurial on a small scale whilst being part of something bigger. Join some of the most successful Swedish entrepreneurs within the tech and fashion industries in creating a new segment with no direct competitors. We are set to become the alternative to denim, a saturated market worth almost 100 billion USD. Take part in company decisions and gain access to special deals, early sales and collection previews.

“We have done this before - creating a segment that did not exist. With corduroy we see the same opportunity.” - Mikael Söderlindh, co-founder

Product

The problem this product solves

Everyone loves corduroy and has a history with corduroy. But no brand owns corduroy!

Many brands have done their take on corduroy but there has never been a brand that has completely dedicated themselves to it. Readily available, new denim brands compete alongside high street retailers and heritage brands on a highly saturated market. Corduroy is an iconic fabric, a versatile workwear staple deeply rooted in popular culture. Available to customers seasonally or as a reaction to trends, corduroy has never before been on offer in a wide range of styles, throughout the seasons.

How the product solves it

Be the go-to corduroy specialists - the world’s first corduroy brand - with an offering that covers everything from staple 5-pocket pants to limited edition design collaborations. The Cords & Co fills the corduroy gap in the market and leads the way for a completely new segment. We are set to become the alternative to denim in fashion retail.

“We want it (corduroy) to be there all the time” - Viktor Tell, co-founder.

Product features

A disruptive fashion company with a specialist approach and single focus: corduroy. Our offering is divided into three segments with an emphasis on core 5-pocket pants.

Core: Offered in a wide selection of wales and washes, our core corduroy pants and jackets are classic, familiar and presented in a fresh, contemporary way.

Seasonal: For our main seasonal collections we take our style cues from history, artistic expressions and the streets, delivering sweatshirts, skirts, dresses, chinos and jackets.

Top-Tier: Our top segment is made up of directional and co-designed limited edition pieces. We collaborate with prominent brands and creatives worldwide.

Product use cases

Wear them. Work them. Wash them. Repeat!

Team

Mikael Söderlindh avatar
Mikael Söderlindh Co-Founder
Mikael co-founded global success story Happy Socks together with Viktor Tell back in 2008. Today he starts, develops and invests in global brands with the potential to become market leaders within their segment. He is a co-owner and chairman of Stutterheim Raincoats and chairman and co-owner of Bounce Inc. trampoline ... See more
Mikael co-founded global success story Happy Socks together with Viktor Tell back in 2008. Today he starts, develops and invests in global brands with the potential to become market leaders within their segment. He is a co-owner and chairman of Stutterheim Raincoats and chairman and co-owner of Bounce Inc. trampoline parks. Mikael was on the board of directors at the start-up stage of growth rocket NA-KD, where he was also one of the first investors. With a background in advertising and an impressive record of creating segments which do not yet exist, Mikael is energetic, passionate and only work with brands that makes him happy. See less
Viktor Tell avatar
Viktor Tell Co-Founder
Viktor is a former Art Director and Graphic Designer. He co-founded Happy Socks together with Mikael Söderlindh in 2008 and currently works as the Creative Director at the brand. With his brilliant creative mindset and huge network, Viktor plays an important role at The Cords & Co, which he co-founded ... See more
Viktor is a former Art Director and Graphic Designer. He co-founded Happy Socks together with Mikael Söderlindh in 2008 and currently works as the Creative Director at the brand. With his brilliant creative mindset and huge network, Viktor plays an important role at The Cords & Co, which he co-founded with Mikael Söderlindh. See less
Carl Manneh avatar
Carl Manneh Board Member
Carl is the co-founder and former CEO of Mojang AB - the brainchild of the successful video game Minecraft which was later sold to Microsoft. A renowned entrepreneur within the global tech industry, Manneh is a fashion industry outsider who was convinced by The Cords & Co concept at an ... See more
Carl is the co-founder and former CEO of Mojang AB - the brainchild of the successful video game Minecraft which was later sold to Microsoft. A renowned entrepreneur within the global tech industry, Manneh is a fashion industry outsider who was convinced by The Cords & Co concept at an early stage. See less
Jonas Meerits avatar
Jonas Meerits Chairman of the board
Jonas is an independent advisor and investor within consumer goods and services with a focus and passion for building fashion and lifestyle brands. He was leading Scope Capital’s investment in Happy Socks in 2014 and served as a chairman of the board until the successful divestment in 2017. With a ... See more
Jonas is an independent advisor and investor within consumer goods and services with a focus and passion for building fashion and lifestyle brands. He was leading Scope Capital’s investment in Happy Socks in 2014 and served as a chairman of the board until the successful divestment in 2017. With a background in management consulting (at McKinsey & Company) and investment management, Jonas led the successful turnaround of fashion and sportswear company J.Lindeberg as the CEO. More recently, he has been involved with e.g. tech start-up APPRL, Ellos, Eleven and Klättermusen, as an advisor and investor. See less
Caroline Roth avatar
Caroline Roth Board Member
Caroline is a fashion marketing executive and CMO with global experience from working with major retail brands including Ralph Lauren, GANT and Lancome. Caroline has spent 13 years abroad in New York and Paris where she has held roles such as Senior Brand Director (Ralph Lauren) and global CMO (GANT). ... See more
Caroline is a fashion marketing executive and CMO with global experience from working with major retail brands including Ralph Lauren, GANT and Lancome. Caroline has spent 13 years abroad in New York and Paris where she has held roles such as Senior Brand Director (Ralph Lauren) and global CMO (GANT). She has significant experience from driving value through strategic planning, global brand creation and development. Caroline is now working as an independent fashion marketing advisor at her own company LaStrategista. See less
Mathias Berggren avatar
Mathias Berggren Board Member
Mathias is a partner at global law firm DLA Piper, where he heads the firm's private equity group in Stockholm. He works with M&A, private equity and venture capital, with a particular focus on technology and media. Mathias has been on the board for Happy Socks since 2008 and is ... See more
Mathias is a partner at global law firm DLA Piper, where he heads the firm's private equity group in Stockholm. He works with M&A, private equity and venture capital, with a particular focus on technology and media. Mathias has been on the board for Happy Socks since 2008 and is currently chairman of the board at boutique design agency Kurppa Hosk. He has vast experience from providing legal advice to global fashion brands. See less
Jens Berlips avatar
Jens Berlips Board Member
Jens is the co-founder and CEO of ApoEx AB, a company specialised in providing medical products and consumer expendables, and winner of the prestigious “Super Gasell” award in 2014. Jens is also a board member of The Swedish Pharmacy Association, Bounce Inc. and a previous board member at Happy Socks. ... See more
Jens is the co-founder and CEO of ApoEx AB, a company specialised in providing medical products and consumer expendables, and winner of the prestigious “Super Gasell” award in 2014. Jens is also a board member of The Swedish Pharmacy Association, Bounce Inc. and a previous board member at Happy Socks. In 2014, Jens also won the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year awards. See less
Josefine Arner avatar
Josefine Arner Board Member
Josefine works as a change management consultant, specialised in leadership culture and team efficiency. Josefine also has experience from working as a brand executive at Apple and as an event project manager.
Anders Signell avatar
Anders Signell CEO
Anders is experienced in running high-growth digital companies, most recently as the MD for Delivery Hero in the Sweden and Finland. Prior to that, he was the Head of E-commerce at Scandinavian Airlines. With strong leadership skills, presence and attention to detail, Anders runs the daily operations from the Stockholm ... See more
Anders is experienced in running high-growth digital companies, most recently as the MD for Delivery Hero in the Sweden and Finland. Prior to that, he was the Head of E-commerce at Scandinavian Airlines. With strong leadership skills, presence and attention to detail, Anders runs the daily operations from the Stockholm head office. See less
Lina Wall Borgenbring avatar
Lina Wall Borgenbring Global PR Director
Lina is a PR and media specialist. Prior to her employment with The Cords & Co, she has been working as a global press officer and project manager at H&M, and as a PR advisor at Jung Relations, one of Scandinavia's leading PR agencies. A former stylist and web editor ... See more
Lina is a PR and media specialist. Prior to her employment with The Cords & Co, she has been working as a global press officer and project manager at H&M, and as a PR advisor at Jung Relations, one of Scandinavia's leading PR agencies. A former stylist and web editor at Egmont Publishing, she has great knowledge of fashion publishing and influencers. See less
Danyel Mejia avatar
Danyel Mejia Creative Director
Danyel is a Creative with years of experience from working both freelance and in-house, directing global campaigns for major Swedish fashion brands like H&M, Busnel, House of Dagmar, Haal and more, Also directed several magazine editorials, eg. BON, Fucking Young! just to name a few.
Randa Saome avatar
Randa Saome Head of Design
Randa is a fashion designer and co-founder of fashion label ALTEWAISAOME, which has won several prestigious awards and showcased at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Stockholm multiple times. She has previously been designing for H&M, WESC and several Italian fashion houses.
Carlo Morelli avatar
Carlo Morelli Head of Marketing
Carlo is a marketing expert with years of experience working within the sportswear and apparel industries in several European countries. Before taking up his role at The Cords & Co, he has held marketing positions at Quiksilver, Roxy and Le Coq Sportif, covering the French and Italian markets.
Johan Enander avatar
Johan Enander Head of Production
Johan is an experienced production manager and product developer within fashion and apparel, realising products from drawing board to end consumer. He has great skills within trend analysis, sourcing and production planning, and has previously held production and buying-related positions at J.Lindeberg and RNB.
David Vallin avatar
David Vallin Ecommerce Director
David is an experienced leader within fashion ecommerce. Since 1997 he has delivered a long range of successful online projects. He is passionate about creating successful online businesses and has worked for several major Swedish and Global retail brands including Daniel Wellington and RNB Retail and Brands, heading their ecommerce ... See more
David is an experienced leader within fashion ecommerce. Since 1997 he has delivered a long range of successful online projects. He is passionate about creating successful online businesses and has worked for several major Swedish and Global retail brands including Daniel Wellington and RNB Retail and Brands, heading their ecommerce channels. See less
Axel Nyhage avatar
Axel Nyhage Commercial Director
Axel has vast experience from the fashion industry within the fields of assortment, sales, distribution, commerce, marketing and brand building. He is the founder of Swedish fashion brand The Local Firm, where he was CEO for several years. Prior to joining The Cords & Co, he has also worked with ... See more
Axel has vast experience from the fashion industry within the fields of assortment, sales, distribution, commerce, marketing and brand building. He is the founder of Swedish fashion brand The Local Firm, where he was CEO for several years. Prior to joining The Cords & Co, he has also worked with major Swedish retailers and fashion brands including JC, Tiger of Sweden and most recently as the global category manager at Peak Performance. At The Cords, Axel is responsible for the commercial direction including the overall sales strategy and operations. See less

Market

Target Market

The denim industry accounts for almost 100 billion US dollars, with three major markets: the US, Western Europe and Japan.

Our specialist offering targets the same consumer, and our key focus markets therefore mirror those of denim. Our retail stores and omni-channel ecommerce platform allows us to operate globally and locally at the same time within our key markets: the US, the UK, Sweden, France and Japan.

With the increasing importance of influencer marketing in fashion, we believe in the power of community and digital. Therefore, we continuously partner with global ambassadors who help us shape and spread our brand.

Competitive landscape

As the first specialist corduroy brand for men and women, we have created a whole new segment with no direct competitors and are to become the natural market leader.

The competition we have identified is other high street brands and denim brands with a corduroy offering. Other denim brands compete against each other to sell yet another pair of jeans to consumers. With a total of 1.25 billion jeans sold globally and the consumer in our focus market owning over six pairs of jeans in average, we see a huge opportunity in becoming the denim alternative in fashion retail.

Unique differentiator from competitors

If you want to be great you have to be dedicated, and we are fully dedicated to corduroy.

Other brands offer corduroy products seasonally or in reaction to current trends but none is fully dedicated to the fabric. With no direct competitors we become the go-to brand for corduroy, offering a wide range of designs covering classic styles but also seasonal fashion pieces. We also aim to be the go-to collab partner for other brands wanting to create corduroy products. We push the boundaries of typical corduroy concepts and deliver the iconic fabric in a fresh and contemporary way.

Company revenue streams

The success of our direct distribution channels is key as they allow us to operate with a higher margin, and with full control. We also use distributors and wholesale partners in some key markets to drive sales and build brand awareness while limiting the entrepreneurial risks and investments as well as the financial exposure.
Here is the target split of our revenue per channels:
- Global e-commerce platform: 50%
- Retail Stores: 30%
- Wholesale/Distribution Partners: 20%

Product/service distribution

The brand is set up with omni-channel operations and all of our sales channels are integrated into one platform with the aim to offer a seamless customer experience and a fully scalable setup allowing for rapid global growth.  
– E-commerce: We ship to most countries worldwide via our global website and two distribution centres (EU/USA).
– Retail stores: We have six flagship stores in global fashion capitals: Paris, London, Los Angeles, Stockholm and NYC.
– Distributors and wholesale partners: Our products are available at various top tier retailers globally including Bergdorf Goodman, Galeries Lafayette, Ron Herman and NK.

Execution

Previous milestones/traction

Q3 2017: Successfully launched the brand globally
- Opened 6 stores in prestige retail locations in London, Paris, NYC, LA and Stockholm.
- Launched an e-commerce platform supporting omni-channel distribution.
- First season carried by Bergdorf Goodman, Galeries Lafayette, American Rag, Ron Herman and NK.
- Design collaborations with Alpha Industries, DJ Harvey and Eastpak.
- Partnered with top fashion communications agencies Karla Otto and Starworks Group. Press coverage in Vogue, Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, GQ, Elle, WWD and Highsnobiety. Total impressions around 650 000 000.
- Partnered with 1626 ambassadors generating 3680 instagram posts with unique reach of 28 372 210.

Next key objectives

- Q3 2018: Open Tokyo store and reinforce presence on the Japanese market with dedicated PR Agency and new distribution partner
- Q4 2018: Reach 1M visits on our website
- 2019: Two additional retail locations, open US Office
- Q4 2019: Reach breakeven
- 2020: Two additional retail locations, set up Asian warehouse
- 2021: One additional retail location, 100 employees
- 2022: One additional retail location
- 2023: €100M turnover

Previous Financing

Founders and existing owners have invested a total of 83 million SEK to date. The business is also funded by a bank credit of 15 million SEK.

Partnerships

From retail store interiors to co-designed collections, we regularly collaborate with some of the most prominent brands and creatives in the world who we love and who shares our values. Our past collaborators include Alpha Industries, Paris-based design studio Atelier Choque Le Goff and legendary artist DJ Harvey.

We believe in the power of community and digital. Therefore, we continuously partner with global influencers who help us shape and spread the brand.

Use of funds

Additional funds will be used to support the continued growth of sales and brand awareness in all channels, first and foremost in our focus markets (the US, the UK, Sweden, France and Japan). The US expansion includes the opening of a dedicated sales office in 2019 and increased marketing activities in the market.

As a first step, we are establishing ourselves on the Japanese market, where we have already secured a AAA location in the heart of Tokyo. After the Tokyo launch, we are set to establish our next stores in Berlin, Copenhagen, and other US locations.

Industry Certifications/Awards


Return on Investment

We expect to reach breakeven in Q4 2019 and to increase market share faster thereafter. We will stay open for further private funding with opportunities for shares buyout. The long term perspective is going public, i.e. IPO.

Risk Analysis

The main market risk identified is if another company launched a similar concept on a bigger scale. Building and introducing a new global brand would however take around two years and large resources - by then we would be well-established as the go-to brand for corduroy.