Fast-growing lifestyle brand LittleMissMatched is about to embark on the next phase of its expansion after securing $17.3m in private equity funding and a new deal to open 85 boutiques in Macy's stores. 

The firm, which launched in 2004 with a collection of mismatched socks, intends to increase its distribution, launch a flagship retail store in New York City, and expand its product offerings with the finance from Catterton Partners.

Michael Farello, partner at Catterton Partners, who will join LittleMissMatched's board of directors, describes the line as "one of the strongest consumer brands we've seen in a long time."

Its products are currently available in more than 3,000 retail outlets nationwide including FAO Schwarz, Bed, Bath & Beyond and JC Penney - and by September will open 85 "shop-within-a-shop" boutiques in Macy's stores across the US.

Macy's Inc, which operates more than 850 department stores, will also roll out additional LittleMissMatched boutiques in 2009.

Launched with a collection of mismatched polka-dotted and striped socks sold in packs of three to encourage creative mixing and mismatching, sales have grown from $5m in 2004 to $25m last year.

The company is forecasting a 100% increase in sales this year.

Lines have extended from tween girls between the ages of 8 and 14, to collections for women, babies, toddlers, boys and men.

Products now range from socks to include pyjamas, loungewear, underwear, swimwear, flip flops, accessories, jewellery, bedding, toys, school supplies and books.

And next year, an apparel line is planned that will let consumers create their own looks.

Sweaters will feature interchangeable sleeves, dresses can be cut to the desired length and the extra fabric used to make a scarf, and hoodie dresses will feature zip-off hoods, sleeves and skirts.

"This is a milestone in our company's history and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to reach more people in more places and encourage them to tap into their creativity and individuality," says Jonah Staw, co-founder and CEO of LittleMissMatched.