NEW YORK, United States — Áslaug Magnúsdóttir, co-founder and chief executive of Moda Operandi, has left the company. The news comes less than a year after the New York-based start-up raised $36 million in a Series C round of funding led by RRE Ventures, with the participation of existing investors New Enterprise Associates, New Atlantic Ventures and Condé Nast, as well as strategic investors IMG and LVMH.
Magnúsdóttir, who has been a columnist at BoF, declined to comment. At the time of publishing, the reasons for her departure were not clear, though an article in the New York Post suggested there was a falling out between Ms Magnusdottir and her co-founder, Lauren Santo Domingo.
A former McKinsey consultant and Gilt Groupe executive, Magnúsdóttir was the driving force behind Moda Operandi, which she co-founded, in 2010, as a members-only, ‘pre-tail’ site, offering customers early access to covetable runway looks from luxury fashion brands including Marc Jacobs and Proenza Schouler.
Santo Domingo, a contributing editor at American Vogue, brought the company important connections to the powerful magazine and many of the designer labels that agreed to work with the start-up in its early days. But, according to sources at Moda Operandi, Santo Domingo was not working at the company on a daily basis.
For Moda Operandi and its investors, the question remains as to who will take over the company’s day-to-day operations following Magnúsdóttir’s exit.
The news may prove a boon to fashion e-tailer Net-a-Porter, owned by Compagnie Financière Richemont, which has been in direct competition with Moda Operandi since the start-up’s expansion from ‘pre-commerce’ to traditional, in-season e-commerce in 2012.