There was a time when the Mossimo brand was about as cool as you. The brand was founded by Mossimo Giannulli, from Operation Varsity Blues college cheating scandal. He dropped out of the University of Southern California in 1984 after a year. In 1986, armed with $ 100,000 from his parents, he founded his beach clothing brand Mossimo. And for those of you too young to remember, around 1988, that was all that cool kids wore. His iconic neon beach volley shorts and neon print t-shirts were the uniform of college students from USC and California. But the legend of Mossimo, and the man who founded it, is bigger than a brief, short neon trend. It’s the story of how a college dropout started a multi-million dollar business, turned it into a great brand at a bargain price decades later, and then saw it all fall apart. he and his wife Lori Loughlinefforts to cheat to get their daughters into USC.
But let’s go back to the roots of the Mossimo brand. With this $ 100,000, his father, a landscape architect, gave him; Giannulli founded his beachwear brand in his apartment on Balboa Island in Orange County in 1986. The neon-colored three-panel beach volleyball shorts and t-shirts from Mossimo with the signature M were an immediate success. Mossimo, the man, has positioned his sportswear line as a lifestyle. And in 1986, who didn’t want to live in southern California hanging out on the beach playing beach volleyball? By the time Mossimo had been in business for a year, the brand had grossed $ 1 million. The following year, the company earned $ 4 million. He began to expand his product line beyond beach volleyball shorts and sweaters, knit shirts and sweatshirts. It also went from simple sales in surf shops to Mossimo’s offer in department stores.
Let’s take a moment to discuss his father’s $ 100,000. Reports have revealed that Giannulli had rigged ballots for his parents’ school fees and that was where the $ 100,000 came from. It should be noted that in the mid-1980s, USC tuition fees were around $ 20,000 per year. USC confirmed to CNN that Mossimo Giannulli was enrolled in the spring semester 1984, but not as a full-time student.
In 1992, barely six years later, Mossimo had 52 employees and $ 32 million in sales. Now remember that in 1992, the United States was in the midst of a recession that slowed most retail sales considerably. Yet Mossimo has flourished. In 1996, it had 300 employees and the business went public. On the day of its IPO, Mossimo stock jumped 39% from its initial offer price and ended the first day of listing as the second most active IPO on the New York Stock Exchange . Mossimo Giannulli was 32 years old and the youngest president of a listed company. He held 73% of the company’s shares, which gives him a net worth of $ 275 million. Remember, he founded the Mossimo brand just 10 years before it was made public. At its peak, Mossimo traded $ 50 per share on the New York Stock Exchange.
However, in 1998, just two years after its IPO, stocks were trading at $ 4.75 and Mossimo had lost $ 18.7 million in the past year. Giannulli was a master in the rapid construction of his brand, but at that time, more than a decade later, this same strategy was counterproductive. He was trying to get his brand from a beachwear company to a high-end designer and his customers just didn’t feel it. His fans wanted beach clothes not expensive jeans and sweaters. The transition has left its customers confused.
In the spring of 2000, Giannulli and Mossimo Inc. signed an agreement with Target for $ 27.8 million. Giannulli would get $ 8.5 million in royalties in the first year of the three-year deal. The agreement worked for both parties. This gave Mossimo a reprieve after years of losing money and customers. This gave Target a chance to partner with a brand seen for the first time as the hip.
In 2006, Mossimo was acquired by Iconix Brand Group – the holding company that owns Joe Boxer, Candie’s shoes, and Badgley Mischka’s women’s clothing. The deal has been valued at $ 135 million in cash and stock.
At that time, Mossimo Giannulli could have retired and settled into family life with his wife and two young daughters. And maybe that’s what he did – we certainly haven’t heard much from him or his wife Lori Loughlin (well unless you watch the Hallmark channel at least) … until Operation Varsity Blues to surface. Now we all know that Mossimo and Lori paid $ 500,000 to bring their daughters Isabella and Olivia to the University of Southern California, and the couple face jail time for their involvement in the cheating scandal. university.
Monday April 15e, Giannulli and Loughlin pleaded not guilty to charges of postal fraud and money laundering conspiracy. If convicted, they face up to 20 years in prison for each charge.