Skims is an apparel brand co-founded by Emma Grede and her husband Jens as well as Kim Kardashian. According to Business Insider, Grede, who made history as Shark Tank’s first Black woman investor, has an 8% stake in Skims. Founded four years ago, the brand has become a unicorn four times over. According to the New York Times, the value of the company came after it raised $270 million in a new funding round, that is from the $3.2 billion valuation investors gave the company last year.
When the company launched in 2019, it recorded sales of $2 million minutes after going public. The brand originally focused on shapewear but has now added swimsuits and loungewear to its collection. The brand initially launched under the name Kimono but changed to Skims within days after fierce protests over the cultural appropriation of the name, which referred to a traditional Japanese style of clothing.
The success of the company has caught the National Basketball Association (NBA), which announced a multiyear partnership, making SKIMS the official underwear partner of the NBA, the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), and USA Basketball, according to this press release.
As part of the partnership, SKIMS will also receive media exposure across a variety of league platforms, including through on-court virtual signage during NBA and WNBA national broadcasts as well as the leagues’ official social and digital platforms.
“I am incredibly proud of SKIMS partnership with the NBA, as it is a reflection of SKIMS growing influence on culture,” said Kardashian, Co-Founder & Creative Director, of SKIMS. “Together, SKIMS and the NBA will connect people of all backgrounds through fashion, sport, and talent, and I look forward to seeing the partnership thrive.”
Jens Grede, co-founder and CEO of the brand, commented, “the NBA’s modern approach and significant impact on pop culture, entertainment, and fashion is unparalleled in sports. Our partnership marks a remarkable opportunity for SKIMS and the NBA to work together on what it means to engage the next-generation of fans through basketball.”
On his part, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Skims has become one of the most culturally influential brands in the NBA. “We look forward to bringing NBA fans and SKIMS users unique experiences, new offerings and premium products through our partnership,” he said.
Per the partnership, SKIMS, the NBA, WNBA and USA Basketball will leverage the power of basketball to generate excitement and demand, by showing up in unexpected ways. Fans will see the partnership come to life at future marquee events, including NBA All-Star and the NBA In-Season Tournament, according to Silver.