June 24, 2022

Gap Inc. Acquires Stake In Allyson Felix’s Footwear Brand

Olympian Allyson Felix‘s footwear brand Saysh, co-founded by her brother and business partner Wes Felix,  has secured an $8 million investment in its series A funding round. 

The funding round led by Iris Ventures, with participation from Redpoint Ventures saw Gap Inc. acquire an equity stake in Saysh. Additionally, Athleta, a subsidiary of Gap Inc., has agreed to showcase Saysh footwear on their website in partnership with the footwear brand.

The news comes after Allyson Felix announced her departure from Nike in 2021, due to claims the company was not doing enough to support pregnant female athletes and new mothers. 

Allyson Felix and her brother Wes Felix co-founded Saysh in June 2021 in response to the inequality women in sports faced and bore a strong community focus. The company, which creates products by women and for women, aims to “undermine equality with female creativity and athleticism.” 

The shoes took the industry by storm when Felix wore them during the 2021 Olympics and aim to provide women with everyday, breathable sneakers that are fit for all occasions. The design, made from one fabric and specially sculpted to fit the shape and form of the female foot, produces an elegant and graceful silhouette that not only looks good but provides endless comfort. 

“I did have a little moment. When I crossed the finish line,” said Felix in an interview with AfroTech last year.

“I looked down at my spikes. These beautiful handcrafted Saysh spikes. And I was like, ‘I did this in my shoes.”

This latest round of funding will develop Saysh’s sneaker and footwear collections and grow the company’s team. It will also help the company scale its own e-commerce and wholesale distributions, allowing them to expand beyond sneakers. 

“We’re going to look at brand-building and how we can let women know that we’re building a company, a brand that’s really for them,” said Wex Felix. 

 “We’ll be thoughtfully building our team thoughtfully, looking at research and development, and ensuring that we’re creating products specifically for women’s bodies. Right now, that’s not how it’s done in the industry.” 

Kumba Kpakima

Kumba Kpakima is a reporter at POCIT. A documentary about the knife crime epidemic in the UK got her a nomination for the UK's #30toWatch Young Journalists of the Year.