Foot Locker takes stake in women’s luxury activewear start-up

Foot Locker is investing in an online women’s luxury fitness and fashion brand with a cult following.

The athletic retailer announced that it has made a strategic investment in Carbon38, taking a minority stake in the brand. The $15 million Series A funding round brings the total raised by Carbon38 to $26 million since 2013.

Carbon38 curates the luxury active fashion brands, as well as designs and manufactures its own in-house line. It was founded in 2012 by two former ballet dancers, Katie Warner Johnson, who serves as its CEO, and Caroline Gogolak.

"We have admired the Carbon38 story and mission since we met three years ago," said Lauren B. Peters, Foot Locker’s executive VP and CFO. “Katie and the team at Carbon38 have done an amazing job creating a brand with an extremely loyal following in the fitness and fashion worlds. In addition to the support of Carbon38's exceptional growth potential that our investment provides, we expect to leverage the team's keen industry insights and focus in order to elevate our own SIX:02 banner's performance."

As part of the partnership, Peters will join Carbon38's board of directors.

“We are excited to have Foot Locker as an investor as we continue to scale our business and expand our omnichannel strategy, both in the U.S. and internationally,” said Johnson. “This funding enables us to accelerate our path of rapid growth and achieve our mission of defining a new category of luxury active ready-to-wear for women.”