Name: Thesis Couture
Legal Name: Thesis Couture, Inc.
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Founder(s): Dolly Singh
INDUSTRY – Global Women’s Footwear Market
Size: $152.1B in 2018 (Source: Statista)
Projections: $220B by 2027 at a CAGR of 4.2% (Source: Statista)
Thesis Couture is a performance-driven, fashion footwear brand that claims to reinvent the stiletto as a more comfortable piece of footwear. The company uses structural engineering principles coupled with human and medical considerations to create the internal architecture of its footwear.
Thesis Couture’s patent-pending products have been designed by a team of experts from across fashion, technology, and anatomy with an aim to redefine the design standards for high-heel footwear. The initial team that was involved in architecting the prototype of the reimagined stiletto included a NASA astronaut and an orthopedic surgeon.
Along with their unique design, the shoes created by Thesis Couture also use materials that measurably improve load distribution across the foot, impact shock, and kinematics. By creating more surface area and matching it to the shape of the foot’s bottom surface, the shoes are able to change how the “load” distributes. This ensures that the shoes do not have adverse health effects as compared to generic high-heeled shoes, while the stilettos itself have a longer life and do not compromise on aesthetics or its appeal to high fashion enthusiasts.
The retail prices for Thesis Couture’s stilettos range from $650 to $950.
Origin and Founding Team
Dolly Singh, the Founder and CEO of Thesis Couture, has a decade and a half’s experience as a talent acquisition specialist. Some of her most notable stints include heading the talent acquisition functions at companies such as SpaceX and Oculus VR.
It was while she was working at SpaceX that Singh had the inspiration for the company. She revealed in an interview with Business Insider that witnessing first-hand how SpaceX was innovating technology for the rocket industry that had seen very little change in nearly five decades, sparked the idea behind Thesis Couture. Conducting frequent tours of the factory floors with candidates made Singh realize that women’s footwear was still being built with design principles from the 20th century and that truly modern footwear, not unlike rockets, could be created using advanced engineering concepts.
She approached her friends at SpaceX, former astronaut Garrett Reisman and rocket scientist Hans Koenigsmann to find an answer to an engineering problem – how could a chassis be redesigned to support a human’s weight and range of motion? After some initial discussions with them on the potential solutions to the problem, she was convinced that there was indeed potential to reinvent one of the most beloved pieces of women’s footwear.
In 2013, Singh left SpaceX and joined the Founder’s Institute, a startup incubator, to further develop the business idea and launch Thesis Couture. Soon after concluding the incubation program, she joined Oculus as the Director of Talent, until the company’s acquisition by Facebook. At Oculus, she recruited Amanda Parkes to be the company’s design director. Singh sought Parkes’ expertise to help transform the initial engineering work and vision into something that did not look like an orthopedic shoe, but something women would want to wear.
Performance and Trends
Thesis Couture raised its initial funding in 2015 worth $70k from investors including Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff and Tom Mueller, co-founder of SpaceX.
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