The Lead Announces The 2023 Foremost 50 List: The Annual Power List of Break-Out D2C Brands

NEW YORK, Jan. 30, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, The Lead, a research-driven media company, announced the fifth annual Foremost 50 List — a power list recognizing 50 break-out D2C brands that are redefining the future of the fashion, beauty, and consumer industries. Bellwethers indicating where the future of direct-to-consumer is headed, these brands are innovating in the market and taking risks while creating investor value. The Lead believes by understanding this group of rising stars, leaders across the industry can apply new business models and anticipate ever-evolving consumer expectations.

Brands are selected based on how they are innovating in the market, emphasizing product/market fit, customer acquisition and marketing, customer experience, supply chain optimization, technology implementation, channel diversity, and capital efficiency.

Having closely tracked the direct-to-consumer business model since 2018, through The Foremost 50 Lists, The Direct 60 List, and associated Insights Reports, The Lead has solidified itself as the preeminent voice on direct-to-consumer business models and is uniquely qualified to identify the challengers who are on track to transform the industry.

The Foremost 50 List is designed not only to recognize groundbreaking companies but also to highlight the collective trends and best practices that signal how the direct-to-consumer business model is evolving within the fashion, beauty, and consumer industries.

The 2023 Foremost 50, presented in partnership with, are — Athletic Brewing Co., Bearaby, BÉIS Travel, BloomChic, bobbie, Born Primitive, Boy Smells, Brandon Blackwood, Bubble Skincare, Cann, Caraway, Care+Wear, Coterie, Dame, Dorsey, Fig. 1, Flag & Anthem, Harper Wilde, Hello Cake, Hydrant, Hydrow, ipsa, Italic, K18 Hair, Kosterina, Lalo, Madhappy, MANSCAPED, Margaux, Monos, Mugsy, Oliver Cabell, Pangaia, Pattern Brands, Petlab Co., Public Rec, Rowan, Splendid Spoon, Spot & Tango, State & Liberty, Stix, Stoggles, Supergut, The Honey Pot Company, The Normal Brand, Three Wishes Cereal, Truewerk, Wandering Bear Coffee, Win Brands Group, Wolf & Shepherd.

According to The Lead’s Chief Content Officer, Sonal Gandhi, the direct-to-consumer landscape looks very different post-pandemic than the D2C gold rush days of early 2010s. “Capital resources are limited, and pathways to quick growth through Meta are no longer available. However, this generation of Foremost 50 D2C brands must grow their business in a thoughtful and savvy manner, learning from the challenges of those that came before them. They have a diversified approach to marketing, distribution, and supply chain and are very deliberate about chasing profitability over high growth.”

“We are absolutely thrilled to see K18 on this list for a second year in a row amongst incredible innovators in our industry and beyond. The world wins when we combine science-backed results and innovations with sustainability, intention, and a less-is-more approach. Thank you for celebrating our biotech-powered innovation and helping us usher in the future of haircare with radical simplicity and radical results," said Suveen Sahib, Co-founder, and CEO of K18 Hair.

“Athletic Brewing is honored to share The Lead’s Foremost 50 List with so many incredible brands,” said Athletic Brewing co-founder and CEO Bill Shufelt. “Our award-winning non-alcoholic brews are now distributed across all 50 U.S. states, and several international markets, but the ability to ship directly to consumers continues to be vital to our business. This recognition from The Lead is a testament to the hard work of our e-commerce team and comes on the heels of launching our new mobile app.”

During the research process each year, The Lead also discovers brands that are on the cusp of selection for The Foremost 50, but are still in their early stages. Poised for great success, these companies are not to be overlooked. The Lead honors them by selecting them for the “Ones to Watch” List.

In partnership with Pipeline, powered by Rosenthal & Rosenthal, The Ones to Watch of 2023 are — Aether Diamonds, AIR COMPANY, BALA Footwear, Cloud Paper, Feat Clothing, Jolie, Jupiter, Kenny Flowers, Kind Laundry, Kinfield, Made by Nacho, Modern Picnic, OUTLINES, Peace Out Skincare, Womaness.

The Foremost 50 and the Ones to Watch will be honored at The Foremost 50 Forum on March 7th. The half-day, by-invitation event is designed for leaders from breakout D2C brands, including CEOs from The Foremost 50 and Ones to Watch, as well as executives from incumbent brands. Additionally, you will be able to hear from many of the list honorees and other stand-out speakers in the fashion, beauty and consumer innovation communities this July at The Lead Innovation Summit in New York City.

The Lead helps brands compete in an increasingly digital and direct selling environment by introducing future business trends, presenting winning strategies, and connecting them with the right technologies. Unlike conferences and information outlets that focus either on big retail or just a single stakeholder, The Lead showcases actionable insights across marketing, ecommerce, stores, customer experience and last mile for brands selling direct.

For more information, please email Nikita Patel at