Blake MyCoskie, founder and owner of the shoe-darling TOMs Shoes has sold half of his brand Wednesday, August 20, 2014, to Bain Capital, co-founded by none other than Mitt Romney.
TOMs Shoes, which as our data has shown in the past Youth Culture Studies, has steadily climbed as a favorite brand among 13-25-year-olds for many reasons, mainly it’s “one-for-one” program of giving one pair of shoes to someone in need for every pair purchased. TOMs, which is estimated to be worth $625 million, or slightly larger than Quiksilver, plans to use the partnership with Bain to, as MyCoskie puts it, expand globally and in more categories, and “enable Toms to grow faster and give to more people in more ways than we could otherwise,” Mycoskie said in the statement.
TOMs has also moved into sunglasses, which are represented here at the MAGIC fashion trade shows and Agenda taking place this week in Las Vegas, and has also created a collection of bags and coffee.
According to Bain, the investment will be used to accelerate TOMs business program and support its philanthropic activities. They say, they are “committed to give back to the community through a new charitable endeavor, funded by Mycoskie and a matching investment from Bain Capital, which will be established to support social entrepreneurs around the world.”
Mycoskie also later stated that he will be starting a foundation to give away half of his profits from the sale to support social entrepreneurship.
Bain’s other investments have included Michaels Stores, The Gymboree Corporation, Dunkin’ Brands Group, Burlington Stores, and Dollarama. Not exactly the same as TOMs. What we’ll soon find out is whether consumers, particular young consumers, find this a sell-out of their favorite footwear brand and what the future holds for what once revolutionized the concept of profits and philanthropy in the shoe industry.