December 13, 2021

This year saw a flurry of initial public offerings, especially with big tech companies like Rivian, Affirm and Roblox. While Robinhood has been one of the most talked-about companies to list, with Coinbase hot on its heels, there are a few players in fashion hoping to whet investors’ appetites. From overhauling subscriptions plans to omnichannel experiences, here is a list of prominent retailers that went public in 2021.


Footwear brand Allbirds, known for its eco-friendly sneakers, filed for an IPO in August 2021, hoping to attract like-minded investors that would help the company achieve its sustainability goals. Since 2018, the company’s revenue has grown from US$126 million to US$219.3 million in 2020. Despite losing US$25.9 million in 2020, it started trading this November on Nasdaq, opening its first trade at US$21.21. According to co-founder and co-CEO Joey Zwillinger, they did “get exposure to a lot more pockets of capital as a result of the fact that people saw the genuine and authentic leadership” after going public. The current stock price is US$15.24.

Dr. Martens

For the past 60 years, Dr. Martens has gone through its fair share of challenges. During the pandemic last year, the British design icon saw a decline in sales when physical shops shuttered while online sales rose over 18 per cent from March to September 2020. Subsequently, the company went public in January this year, making its debut on the London Stock Exchange at 370 pence a share.

CEO Kenny Wilson said, “The successful transformation of Dr Martens is a great story, and what is even more exciting is the huge potential ahead. We are proud to take our place as a London-listed company, both delivering as a successful plc and, more importantly, continuing to grow our brand around the world.” The current stock price is GBP 390.60.


Despite losing US$48 million in revenue last year, San Francisco-based company ThredUp went public earlier this year in March. The twelve-year-old company remains positive that investors will recognise its potential since there has been a newfound interest in secondhand goods among the younger (Gen Z) shoppers. In fact, CEO James Reinhart is confident that Thredup will continue to do well in spite of the pandemic. “I think we’re still going to be in a recession, and there’s still some members of the community that are suffering and so ThredUp provides great brands and great prices. The stimulus checks will also spur people into purchasing used,” he said. On its first day of trading, shares were at US$14 apiece. In total, the company raised US$168 million at a US$1.3 billion valuation. The current stock price is US$13.63.


Poshmark caught the tail end of the e-commerce boom from last year, which saw a great surge in sales due to a rekindled interest in used goods. The ten-year-old company said that Covid-19 had been a blessing in disguise since the lockdowns drove shoppers to its online marketplace. In its January IPO, Poshmark raised US$277 million and shares opened at US$97.50. The current stock price is US$18.31.

Rent the Runway

Fashion rental platform Rent the Runway is one of the latest direct-to-consumer retailers to go public. The company, which offers a monthly subscription for renting women’s clothing, even has actress Gwyneth Paltrow as one of its board of directors. After its public debut in October 2021, the company sold 17 million shares, raising $357 million. While Rent the Runway originally had physical stores (which closed during the pandemic), it plans to use the capital raised to “pursue expansion opportunities, including international growth and launching into new categories.” The current stock price is US$9.80.