LONDON — Farfetch.com, a platform for independent high-end fashion boutiques worldwide, is gearing up to expand thanks to a $4.5 million investment from Advent Venture Partners. The site, founded by the London-based José Neves, launched at the end of 2008 and showcases men’s and women’s clothing, accessories and jewelry from 40 European and U.S. boutiques, including Traffic and American Rag in Los Angeles; Feathers in London, and Maria Luisa in Paris.
In an interview with WWD, Neves, the company’s chief executive officer, said he plans to build up the infrastructure and team, and to launch a sister site to serve the Brazilian market, which is growing rapidly and is subject to heavy import duties. Neves said his medium-term target is to increase the number of shops from 40 to 100.
The site has customers in over 100 countries. About 40 percent of orders come from the U.K. and Europe; 30 percent from North America; 15 percent from Asia and the Middle East; 5 percent from Australia, and 5 percent from Brazil and the rest of South America.
Neves has also hired London retail veteran Susanne Tide-Frater to take charge of business development and to build up the boutiques’ profiles and highlight the personalities behind them. Tide-Frater has worked for stores here including Harrods and Selfridges, and is a consultant for 19 Entertainment, working with designers Roland Mouret and Victoria Beckham. “All of these stores have the potential to have a global customer, and we see the site as a real fashion community,” she said.
Neves founded the London independent retailer B Store and owns Six, a wholesale footwear company that manages a portfolio of licenses including Opening Ceremony and Ksubi. With Farfetch, he said his mission is to give an online boost to fashion’s smaller players. “All of these independent stores have such a great vision, but they were struggling to tap into the online channel and reach a global audience,” he said.
“What we have is a very scalable business model, and our plan is to expand into new markets as we see opportunities,” he added.
The stores pay a minimum charge to get onto Farfetch.com, which builds a page for them, and takes care of photographing the samples, marketing and customer service. There is one checkout process. Payments are processed by the site and then passed on to the boutique, which packages and ships them directly to the consumer. Customers can shop by boutique, designer, product category, trends or size, and the site takes a percentage of every sale.
Neves declined to give sales or projections, but said there are shops that are turning over $3 million annually on the site alone.
Frédéric Court, general partner at Advent, said his firm’s strategy is to invest in capital-efficient e-commerce businesses. “Farfetch.com hit all our investment criteria: A proven entrepreneurial team, fast-growing revenue, highly differentiated positioning, and a strong ability to scale with limited capital requirements. We are thrilled to be involved with a company which has already made significant impact within its market based on its unique business model,” he said.
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
Not only does #TheProfit return to CNBC tonight, but @marcuslemonis has launched @shopmarcus, a new shopping and lifestyle retail experience in Aspen and Chicago, with more locations to come. The retail stores offer in-store stylists and a variety of contemporary womenswear selections.
“It’s life, I’m going to face it,” @mingxi11 sighed. “I fell, but you know, I think the most important thing is that I get back up. I had the love, the help from my sister — the girl next to me Gizele [Oliveira] — she’s so nice. When I went backstage everybody was trying to comfort me like ‘Oh Ming, it’s OK.’ I’m really, really touched. I think it’s them who gave me the courage to go back on stage for the finale,” Xi told WWD of her fall at the @victoriassecret fashion show. (📷: David Fisher) #wwdfashion #vsfashionshow #victoriassecret
@louisvuitton tapped @therealpeterlindbergh for its latest city-centric photo book, which is part of a series called Fashion Eye. The primarily black and white book captures the spirit of Berlin in 57 images shot between 1989 and 2019. “Berlin is an inspiration for me, more than a city. I mean @millajovovich is simply Berlin!” said Lindbergh. #wwdfashion
“You know, I think audiences expect a certain performance so I have to deliver to them what they’re expecting to a certain degree. But I’m also a different actor and a different person, I have my own spin on the character,” says @noahegalvin of his takeover of the leading role in “Dear Evan Hansen” following the departure of @bensplatt, who originated the role. Read WWD’s interview with the 23-year-old actor on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
For pre-fall 2018, @etro created richly-colored wonderland, using tapestries, textiles and wallpapers from the Eastern world at large. The line featured floral and graphic prints and jacquard motifs, like this two-piece look featured here. #wwdfashion (📷: Giovanna Pavesi)
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)