NVM backs premium footwear brand Duke & Dexter

Duke & Dexter (D+D), an award-winning footwear label has secured a £2m investment from NVM Private Equity (NVM) to continue disrupting the men’s footwear market and build its global community of fans. Since launching in 2014 D+D have received international recognition, selling to over 120 countries and working with reputable international retailers including Harrods,  Selfridges, the KaDeWe Group and Level Shoes. 

Archie Hewlett launched London based Duke & Dexter in 2014 with a velvet loafer. Today the company offers a range of high-quality shoes, all manufactured by hand in the UK. The business has amassed a social media following of over 500,000 and, by taking a fashion-forward approach, has become a leading premium men’s shoe brand.

Duke & Dexter have always collaborated with brands and personalities with similar values, including Tyson Beckford and Rolls Royce. In June 2019, the company launched a collaboration with the iconic American rapper Snoop Dogg to create an exclusive line of 12 initial styles. The launch of this collaboration was covered internationally by The Times, Forbes, GQ, Channel 4 news, and the exclusive styles have been worn by the likes of Rihanna, Zayn, Nick Jonas and Ryan Reynolds.

The UK men’s footwear market is expected to grow c.15% to 2022, driven by increasing popularity in casual shoes, males’ greater interest in style and more investment from retailers to satisfy the shift in demand for trend-led product ranges. This is seen increasingly amongst male millennials, aged 16-24, of whom 95% bought shoes last year making them Britain’s number one footwear buyers. Of male buyers, the fastest growth segment is within premium footwear. 

Founder Archie commented “D+D has grown organically over the past four years, giving us time to properly develop the brand and establish ourselves in the market.  We’ve very consciously taken our time to find the right investment partner to now help us expand globally and scale the business. NVM have an exceptional reputation in early stage growth capital investing and it quickly became very apparent that we were well-aligned; both in terms of our aims for the brand, but also our approach to getting there. We’re also delighted to have appointed John Egan (the former CEO of The Dune Group) as our Chairman – given John’s illustrious career in the footwear industry, we’re hugely excited to be able to draw on his experience.” 

Ishaan Chilkoti, Investment Manager at NVM, added: “We believe D+D is an exciting premium footwear business that has found a niche in a large, global market. In a short space of time and with limited funding, the team has developed a high-quality product and a recognisable brand with clear appeal to the younger consumer. NVM’s investment will enable the D+D team to invest into key growth areas, build the team and drive further expansion. We’re looking forward to helping them on the next phase of their journey.

Earlier this year, NVM were named winner of the prestigious UKBAA award for Early Stage Fund of the Year which recognises the most active and impactful VC that is bringing both investment and strong added value to build and scale their portfolio businesses and that demonstrates a key focus on co-investing with angels or providing follow-on funding. In the last year NVM has completed seven new growth capital investments across various sectors and regions of the UK. 



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NVM was provided with:

  • Legal advice from Shoosmiths
  • Commercial and digital due diligence by Palladium
  • Financial due diligence by SGB Consulting
  • Insurance due diligence by AON
  • Management due diligence by Confidas People
  • VCT clearance by Philip Hare & Associates

Duke & Dexter were supported by:

  • Advised by ABG Corporate Finance
  • Legal advice from Teacher Stern

NVM Private Equity is independently owned with over 30 years’ experience of investing in unquoted UK businesses. NVM is a generalist investor, managing approximately £430 million of funds, and is differentiated by having executives living and working in regional business communities throughout the UK. NVM seeks investment opportunities of between £1 million and £15 million in UK businesses, which have the right mix of growth potential and market vision. They may be looking to grow organically, acquire another business or secure a management buy-outwww.nvm.co.uk.