“A patternmaker today, a CEO tomorrow” may sound like the plot of a Hollywood rom-com, but it’s the real story of Torrid CEO Elizabeth “Liz” Muñoz.
Now, Muñoz can proudly say that she is one of the rare few: a Latina CEO of a publicly-traded company as Torrid officially made its initial public offering last July 1st at the New York Stock Exchange.
Torrid is the world’s leading fashion retailer of accessories, apparel, and intimates for the modern and curvy woman. A self-described “big girl,” Muñoz has become a trailblazing icon for the Latina and plus-size community.
Inside Torrid’s IPO
Cheekily listed as CURV, the company opened at $21 and closed the day 15% higher at a respectable $24.15, putting its value at $2.7 billion. The company offered a total of 11 million shares which raised a total of $230 million.
This recent IPO is Torrid’s second attempt. It initially filed for an IPO back in July 2017 but withdrew the application in April 2019. According to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s official explanation, this retraction was meant to protect investors and be consistent with the public interest.
The company’s largest shareholder, New York firm Sycamore Partners Management, saw a slight dip in its voting power after the IPO, going from 84.7% to 77%.
Moving from strength to strength
Since Muñoz took Torrid’s helm in 2018, the company has experienced a growth spurt that has enabled it to shed off its previous “mall brand” image, becoming a brand of choice for curvy women between the ages of 25 and 40, and sizes 10 to 30.
Indeed, 2020 was a surprisingly good year for Torrid. While the pandemic decreased sales at its brick-and-mortar establishments, over 70% of the company’s trade in the past year was through its online ecommerce hub. In previous years, online sales could only go as high as 42% (2018), peaking at 48% (2019.)
Post-IPO, Muñoz intends to make customer acquisition one of the company’s main priorities. Here, Torrid’s recently launched ambassador program featuring plus-sized beauty and fashion influencers will be expected to play a key role. Likewise, Muñoz also wants to grow the company’s Curve line of swimwear and undergarments further in order to gain a larger share of the US’ 9.1 million-strong customer base for plus-sized fashion.
Muñoz started as a pattern maker for the company and worked her way to the top, eventually becoming its CEO in September 2018. Her elevation has since blazed a trail for Latinas and other women of color in the modern workplace. Indeed, her company has the distinction of becoming one of the labels of choice for the plus-sized segment of the global fashion industry.