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TikTok Stars Charli, Dixie D’Amelio to Start Own House of Brands

Investors including Fanatics Inc. chief executive officer Michael Rubin, Apple Inc.’s Eddy Cue and Autograph co-chairman Richard Rosenblatt took part in the $6 million financing round set to be announced Tuesday.
TikTok stars Dixie D'Amelio (L) and Charli D'Amelio (R).
TikTok stars Dixie D'Amelio (L) and Charli D'Amelio (R) to start their own brands. (Shutterstock)

The social media stars of the D’Amelio family have raised funds to start their own brands as they look to grow their own business rather than focus solely on influencer deals.

Investors including Fanatics Inc. chief executive officer Michael Rubin, Apple Inc.’s Eddy Cue and Autograph co-chairman Richard Rosenblatt took part in the $6 million financing round set to be announced Tuesday. Lions Gate Entertainment head Jon Feltheimer and United Talent Agency also backed the new venture as it hires staff and prepares to debut its first products in the coming months.

The D’Amelios have amassed one of social media’s largest audiences, with nearly 400 million followers across platforms, since sisters Charli and Dixie became prominent personalities on TikTok in 2019. Charli is now the second most-popular creator on the short-form video app with more than 146 million followers.

D’Amelio Brands plans to begin with a women’s footwear line and a skin care label to be released by the end of the year, with the sisters active in product development, design and promotion. Goods will be primarily sold direct-to-consumer but management is also considering retail partnerships. Their father Marc D’Amelio will run the new operation, which has already integrated the family’s existing fan merchandise shops. He’s also weighing entry into more categories within the fashion, consumer packaged goods and food sectors. D’Amelio said the concept is to take what the family has been doing with their brand deals, which often don’t include equity, and bring the process in-house. In recent years, the creator economy has birthed all sorts of businesses as influencers seek to branch out beyond the usual endorsements and paid posts to better monetise their followings.

“We feel it’s the next step for them,” Marc D’Amelio said of his daughters. “There’s an opportunity for us to do things for ourselves. That’s where this comes from.”

Charli, now 18, and Dixie, 21, have worked with companies like Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc. and Sabra Dipping Co., a joint-venture between PepsiCo Inc. and Strauss Group Ltd., on ads and promotion. The pair have a clothing line with Abercrombie & Fitch Co.’s Hollister and Charli has a fragrance made by French manufacturer Robertet SA. The family also has a series on Hulu that’s set to kick off its second season this month.

The D’Amelios have been particularly active investors lately too. Charli backed her first company at 16, investing in teen banking service Step in 2020, and in February the family struck an equity deal with editing-app developer Lightricks. Earlier this year, the D’Amelios started a venture capital fund that’s looking to put up to $25 million into start-ups.

Marc D’Amelio said that down the road, his daughters may not want to keep living the influencer life or have the same spotlight they’re enjoying right now. By starting their own brands, it may open up new opportunities.

“It’s a way for both of my daughters to decide what they want to do,” he said. “Dixie has a music career. Charli is going to be in a movie. But they may decide 10 years from now they want to be more active in the business world.”

By Kim Bhasin

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As the creator space has matured, brands must be thoughtful about crafting a strategy that leverages influencer marketing’s full power, considering everything from talent scouting to the effectiveness of metrics.

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