Clique Brands’ Katherine Power launched Powered Brands with Dana Settle to acquire beauty, wellness and related brands.

Clique Brands’ Katherine Power launched Powered Brands with Dana Settle to acquire beauty, wellness and related brands. Photo by Stefanie Keenan

Two local executives with a track record of creating and investing in consumer-centric brands are off to a new, public venture.
Katherine Power, chief executive of West Hollywood-based Clique Brands Inc., and Dana Settle, founding partner of downtown-based venture capital firm Greycroft, created Powered Brands, a blank-check company that netted about $276 million after filing for an initial public offering in January.

According to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the New York-based SPAC is looking to acquire “brands and platforms in the beauty, personal care, wellness and broader consumer-related sectors,” that are “digitally native, authentic and mission-driven with global potential.”

Although there are no immediate targets on the horizon, a roster of brands owned by Power may fit the bill.

The former West Coast editor of Elle magazine, Power co-founded Clique Brands with then-coworker Hillary Kerr in 2006 as the umbrella company for the Who What Wear fashion website.

Who What Wear generates revenue by driving users to click through to affiliated retailers based in the United States and the United Kingdom. The site collects about 12% in commission on all referred purchases.

Clique Brands’ portfolio has since grown to include a Who What Wear apparel line sold exclusively at Target, the career-oriented podcast Second Life hosted by Kerr, the INF influencer marketing agency and a “turnkey creative department dedicated to creating engagement for brands across the Who What Wear audience,” according to the company.

The Who What Wear apparel collection has “generated $400 million in cumulative retail sales since 2016,” according to SEC filings, while “annually, Clique Brands drives $40 million in retail sales across 400 (plus) retail partners.”

In addition, Power founded two companies based at the corporate office in West Hollywood that focus on clean beauty and a company based in Burbank that sells organic wine.

Power’s Offspring Beauty Co., doing business as Versed, started as part of Clique in 2018 and was spun off a year later, according to the SEC filing. The skincare line, sold at Target and touted as affordable clean beauty, has generated $20 million since its inception and counts Chrissy Teigen and Kourtney Kardashian as part of its fan base.  
Power also partnered with actress Cameron Diaz on Avaline Ltd., which the company describes as a “clean wine brand that uses organic grapes and offers nutritional transparency.”

Avaline sold nearly 120,000 bottles of wine in its first 12 weeks after launching in July, and its half-year revenue added up to $2 million, according to the company.

Power’s latest venture is Power Beauty Co., doing business as Merit, a “minimalist makeup brand (that) was made for life in quarantine,” according to the company. Sephora started carrying Merit’s seven-product line on Feb. 19, just a month after the brand’s successful launch via ecommerce — it sold 3.5 products every minute during its first week on the market, according to the SEC filing.

Greycroft’s Settle was part of Power’s entrepreneurial journey, first as an early investor in Clique, followed by finance deals for Versed, Avaline and now Merit. The two “have crafted a repeatable playbook for developing, launching and scaling brands that effectively reach Millennial and Gen Z consumers in a capital efficient way,” according to SEC filings.

Settle’s other deals via Greycroft include the 2019 initial public offering for The RealReal Inc. that valued the company at about $2.3 billion, the $350 million sale of online personal styling service Trunk Club to Nordstrom Inc. and the sale of Maker Studios to Walt Disney Co., both in 2014.

Power and Settle declined to comment on whether future acquisitions will include Clique Brands, Versed, Avaline or Merit, citing regulatory restrictions. Powered Brands’ Oct. 23 filing with the SEC, however, offers room for speculation.  

“We are not prohibited from pursuing an initial business combination or subsequent transaction with a company that is affiliated with Greycroft, our sponsor, founders, officers or directors,” management said in the document. 

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